Tough new requirements for high school diplomas could send city graduation rates plummeting, especially among poor and minority students, advocates have said. Starting with 2009's ninth graders, general education students will have to earn a Regents diploma to graduate, not the current less rigorous local degree. Those requirements would have left nearly 10,000 of 2008's graduates without a diploma, severely limiting their college and career options, according to a study by the Coalition for Educational Justice. While graduation rates have risen in the past decade, only 37% of students earn a Regents degree, which requires passing five subject-specific exams with a score of 65 or higher. Just 28% of African-American and 26% of Latino students earned that degree in 2008, while more than half of white students did. Only a third of students at high-poverty schools were awarded a Regents degree, the CEJ study showed.
AP Results Improve for Other Minority Students, Though Blacks Still Lag Behind
More blacks, Latinos took AP exams, but more failed them, too