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Understanding the graduation rates

News reporters spent hours Monday sifting through a few hundred pages of dense graduation rate data released by the State Education Department in order to boil everything down into an abbreviated chart showing the three-year graduation rates for every public and charter high school in Erie and Niagara counties. That chart accompanies my story in print and online today.

But for those of you who crave even more information, more is available. The state releases not only summary graduation rates by district and by high school, but also breaks down those numbers by poverty levels, race, gender and other student population factors. In addition, the state also breaks down the information to show how many students graduate in four years, five years and six years. 

So, if you want view overall district graduation rates (as opposed to individual schools) for 2012, to compare and contrast graduation rates district to district, you can find that information as a pdf file by clicking on this link.

If you want more information about 2012 graduation rates for your particular high school, you can find that by clicking here. Be aware that this information is organized by county, then alphabetically by high school name, not by district.

If you want to view older data for 2011, 2010 or earlier, the State Education Department also makes that available here.

 Finally, this is the press release issued by the state on Monday. We'll keep looking at the data and see if there are other stories worth writing. Suggestions welcome.

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | [email protected]


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | [email protected]


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | [email protected]


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | [email protected]

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