There's been a whole lot of talk lately about Buffalo's 25 percent four-year graduation rate for black males, as reported by the Schott Foundation.
That's the number that's probably most often cited by parents and others in the community as they outline the urgent need for school reforms.
It's also a number that you will not find anywhere in the data released by the State Education Department this week. While the state does break down graduation rates by race, it does not break down the data by gender groups within racial groups.
There's a whole process the Schott Foundation uses to calculate that black male graduation rate, and it's not simple. That's why they come out with such a study only once every two years.
At any rate, if you take the time to dig through all the graduation data the state has released over the past few years, what you find is that it's possible to do only a limited comparison of graduation rates across racial groups.
I could find only three years of racial breakdown of the data.
Two years ago, 50 percent of black students in Buffalo graduated in four years, compared to 60 percent of white students.
The most recent data -- for the Class of 2010 -- shows that 45 percent of black students in Buffalo graduated in four years, compared to 58 percent of white students.
Here's what the more complete breakdown looks like for the Buffalo Public Schools:
- Mary Pasciak