This brief focuses on trends among students in New York City’s (NYC) public schools to provide context for the efforts made to increase the educational advancement of NYC transition age youth in foster care. The high school graduation rate overall increased steadily over the past decade in NYC, consistent with NY State, and national trends. Additional markers of educational progress such as rates of attendance, dropping out, and college enrollment demonstrate significant improvements. Though NYC public school students have made significant progress overall, racial disparities remain.
The method used to calculate high school graduation rates for the general population is not applicable to foster youth, who often stay in foster care for short periods. As a result, NYC developed several alternate measures to track educational performance for this group over the past several years. Spurred in part by federal legislation, New York City initiated several new educational policies and services that impact foster youth. This brief touches on postsecondary outcomes such as college persistence and job readiness, which could be an additional area to explore in future briefs.