Chancellor Carranza Announces Record Number of New York City Students Enrolling in College

  • Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018

Postsecondary enrollment hits record high of 59 percent

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza released the 2017-18 School Quality Reports and announced that New York City’s postsecondary enrollment rate is its highest ever – 59 percent of New York City’s Class of 2017 (students entering 9th grade in Fall 2014) enrolled in a two- or four-year college, vocational program, or public service program after graduation, up 2 percentage points from the previous year and up 8 percentage points from the Class of 2013.

A record-high 45,115 students in the Class of 2017 enrolled in college, up from 43,466 in the Class of 2016 and 40,641 in the Class of 2013.

The increase in college enrollment came in the first year of the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, and specifically the College Access for All initiative, which is now reaching every middle and high school in New York City. In its first year, the initiative eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students.

“Our plan to create equity and excellence in our school system is working, with more students enrolling in college and ready for college than ever before,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are opening the doors of opportunity to young New Yorkers regardless of zip code, and we are giving them the start and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.”

“Our public schools are putting a record number of students on a path to a brighter future,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Today we celebrate our record college enrollment – a direct result of the hard work of our students, educators and families – and pledge to continue our gains. Through our Equity & Excellence for All agenda, we are building a college and career-ready culture in every single one of our middle and high schools, removing barriers to college and career access, and giving our students the resources they need to succeed after graduation. I encourage families to use the improved online School Quality Snapshot to learn more about this progress and how our 1,800 New York City public schools are performing.”

The School Quality Reports are available on the DOE and individual school websites. The School Quality Snapshot is a report designed to give families a clear, concise picture of the quality of each school, while the School Quality Guide provides more detailed information intended for schools to use to inform their planning efforts.

For the first time this year, the School Quality Snapshot is available as a searchable web-based and mobile-ready tool, rather than a PDF. Families can easily search for schools and information, including from their phones, and the new tool is also available in more than 100 languages through Google Translate, and has screen-reader compatibility making it more accessible for individuals with disabilities.

The School Quality Guide provides more detailed information for schools to use to inform their planning efforts and for families and community members wanting to dive deeper into school data. School Quality Report data is also included on the School Performance Dashboard, an interactive data tool. 

Measures of college readiness also improved, including:

  • The percentage of all students in the Class of 2018 who graduated college ready, defined as graduating high school on time and meeting CUNY’s standards for college readiness in English and math, reached 51 percent in 2018, up 3 percentage points from the previous year and up 16 percentage points from 2014. Among graduates, the percentage of students meeting these standards rose to slightly below 67 percent, up 3 percentage points from the previous year and up 19 percentage points from 2014.
  • Changes to CUNY remediation requirements in 2017 continue to have an impact on the City’s College Readiness Index. We estimate that 2 percentage points of the 3-percentage point increase in college readiness can be attributed to improved student achievement. 
  • Changes to CUNY remediation requirements in 2017 continue to have an impact on the City’s College Readiness Index. We estimate that 2 percentage points of the 3-percentage point increase in college readiness can be attributed to improved student achievement.

  • The percentage of students in the Class of 2018 who successfully completed courses and exams that will prepare them for college and careers stayed consistent at 49 percent, up two percentage points from 2016.

In addition to increases in college enrollment and college readiness, the 2017-18 School Quality Reports include information on student achievement on State exams:

  • 47 percent of students met proficiency standards in ELA, and 43 percent of students met proficiency standards in Math. In 2018, NYSED rescaled the Math and ELA exams to account for a change in test administration from three days to two days. Therefore, 2018 results cannot be compared to prior years.

“It is so important that our New York State budget for education continue to increase and treat all parts of our state fairly.  Seeing New York City have great success with college access for all recommits me to that effort.  Educated young adults are becoming critical thinkers who can participate in our city's life and economy to their fullest potential.  Congratulations to New York City students and all who make this progress possible," said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee.

The School Quality Reports were updated in 2015 to align to the Framework for Great Schools, the DOE’s research-based approach to school improvement, and continue to be refined based on feedback from school leaders and communities as well as analysis conducted internally and by external researchers. Schools with strong 2017 Framework ratings were eight times more likely to substantially improve student achievement in 2018.

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are promoting increased college readiness and access to postsecondary options across all five boroughs. This specifically includes the College Access for All, AP for All, Algebra for All, and Single Shepherd initiatives.

Starting this school year, through College Access for All, every high school will have the resources and supports for students to graduate with a college and career plan. More students will be equipped in knowing how to apply to college, pay for college, prepare for the SATs, and explore and select college and career pathways. The initiative has eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students and made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors – increasing the number of juniors who took the SAT by 51 percent in 2016-17. At the middle school level, starting this school year, every 7th grader in New York City has an opportunity to visit a college campus. Approximately 70,000 7th graders will be able to visit college campuses during the school year, and all 517 middle schools are engaging students and families in a schoolwide college and career culture.

Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms, including Equity & Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools are central to this pathway.

More information about the School Quality Reports, including reports for individual schools, training materials, and a link to the School Performance Dashboard, is available online

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