Education






Education is key to preparing children for success as adults and for ensuring the economic and civic vitality of our region. In this section, we examine measures of school readiness academic achievement and school environment. While students in the region are passing high school tests and graduating at rates comparable to New York State, they are under-performing the state in earlier grades on several assessments. And our region does not do as well as the state in successfully preparing low-income and students of colors to pass the exams.  

The percentage of children attending pre-kindergarten in our region increased by 33 percentage points since 2001. In 2016, 44% of the 4-year-olds in the region were enrolled in prekindergarten, below the 52% statewide.

Just 43% of 3rd graders in our region passed the state’s reading test, linked to Common Core standards, below the state’s 51%. The passing rate was especially low in the City of Rochester at 17%, though the City increased by 7 percentage points from the previous year. Passing rates were higher on 3rd grade math: 48% in the region, compared to 54% statewide. In 8th grade math, our region had 47% of students pass either the 8th grade state test or a Regents math test, compared to 43% statewide.

Test scores were lower among low-income and minority children in our region, and outcomes for these groups were lower than at the state level. For example, on the state’s 8th grade English exam, passing rates were substantially higher among white (49%) and Asian students (62%) than among Hispanic and African American students (at 23% and 18% respectively) in 2018. Similarly, only 24% of the region’s low-income students passed the 8th grade English exam, in comparison to 41% of students overall. Educational research has established that family income and mother's level of education are two of the strongest factors associated with student performance. However, in 2018, performance for minority and low-income students was higher at the state level than it was in our region.

On the high school Regents exams required for graduation, students in the region outperformed the state by 3 points on math and were on par on English in 2017. About 78% of students in our region passed the Common Core Regents math exam in 2017, and 84% passed the Common Core Regents English.

Our four-year high school graduation rate was slightly above the statewide rate: 85% of regional students who began high school in 2013 graduated on time, compared to 82% of students statewide. In the City of Rochester, the rate was 57%. Given another year, more students made it through high school. The regional five-year rate for the Class of 2012 increased to 87% and Rochester’s five-year rate to 58%.

Disparities are also present in our region’s graduation rates by race/ethnicity, and are larger than at the state level. In our region, 69% of African American and Hispanic students graduated in four years, in comparison to 91% of white students and 85% of Asian students. At the state level, 71% of Hispanic and 73% of African American students graduated in four years, compared to 90% of white and 89% of Asian students.

Spending per student by school districts in our region increased 50% since 2000, even after adjusting for inflation. In 2017, our school districts spent over $22,200 per student, below the state rate of $24,700.

Of the adults in the region, 61% have attended at least some college, above state and national levels. While 31% of the region’s adults have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 10% have not obtained a high school degree. This compares to 14% of adults statewide and 13% nationwide without a high school degree.








Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS


INDICATORS - Grouped by Topic REGIONAL VALUE YEAR NYS COMPARISON TREND | REGION
Prenatal Care 80% 2016 3 1
Increasing
Prenatal Care, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Low Birth Weight Babies 7% 2016 3 0
Maintaining
Low Birth Weight Babies, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
Infant Mortality Rate 6.0 2014-16 2 0
Maintaining
Infant Mortality Rate, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0.7% 2015 2 -1
Decreasing
Children in Poverty 21% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Children in Poverty, Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families 39% 2012-16 2 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect 18 2016 2 1
Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions 2.1 2017 2 -1
Decreasing
Rate of Teen Pregnancy 2% 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Arts and Culture Attendance 0 10 Not Applicable
Tourism Spending $1,368 2017 1 1
Increasing
Recreation Spending $76 2017 1 -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 81% 2017 3 -1
Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate 58% 2016 3 0
Maintaining
Registered Library Borrowers 63% 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Library Visits 6.0 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Contributions as a Percentage of Income 1.7% 2016 2 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 10% 2012-16 3 0
Maintaining
Total Population 0.9% 2017 2 0
Maintaining
Population by Age 0 10 Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16-19 6% 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income $53,369 2012-16 1 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty 14% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Public Assistance Recipients 2.6% 2017 3 0
Maintaining
Approval Rate for Public Assistance Applications 26% 2017 0 -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP 14% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Tax Filers Receiving Earned Income Tax Credit 16% 2016 3 0
Maintaining
EITC Dollars $177 2016 1 1
Increasing
Change in Total Jobs 0.5% 2017 2 0
Maintaining
Change in Number of Business Establishments by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Change in Jobs by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Sector Shares of Regional Total Employment 0 10 Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate 5% 2017 2 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 3% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 by Sector 0 10 Not Applicable
Employment-to-Population Ratio 73% 2017 3 -1
Decreasing
Per-Capita Spending for Local Government $3,645 2016 0 1
Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation 44% 2016 2 1
Increasing
School Spending Per Student $22,208 2017 1 1
Increasing
Instructional Spending Per Student $15,778 2017 1 1
Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services 9% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Grade 3 English 43% 2018 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 3 English by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 3 Math 48% 2018 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 Math by Student Subgroup 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 3 Math by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 8 English 41% 2018 2 1
Increasing
Grade 8 English by Student Subgroup 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 8 English by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Grade 8 Math 47% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Regents Algebra 1 78% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Regents English 84% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate 85% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Cohort Graduation Rate, Beyond Four Years 87% 2017 3 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults 0 10 Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance 5% 2016 3 -1
Decreasing
Supply of Doctors 34.4 2016 1 1
Increasing
Mortality Rate 685 2016 1 -1
Decreasing
Chlamydia Rate 50 2016 3 1
Increasing
Chlamydia Rates within Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
Gonorrhea Rate 21 2016 2 0
Maintaining
Gonorrhea Rates within Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable
People Living with HIV 104 2016 0 1
Increasing
People Living with HIV by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
People Living with AIDS 132 2016 0 1
Increasing
People Living with AIDS by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 0 10 Not Applicable
Alcohol-related Crashes 3 2017 2 -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value $130,597 2012-16 1 0
Maintaining
Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment by Primary Substance 0 10 Not Applicable
Median Rental Prices $807 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners 2.4 2012-16 3 0
Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Overall Housing Cost Burden 31% 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Renters 35% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate 68% 2012-16 3 -1
Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Vacant Housing Units 9% 2012-16 3 1
Increasing
Homeless Persons 0 10 Not Applicable
Serious Crimes 214 2017 1 -1
Decreasing
Violent Crimes 28 2017 3 1
Increasing
Victims of Domestic Violence 54 2017 0 -1
Decreasing
Incarceration Rates 13.7 2017 2 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable
Arrest Rates 197.7 2017 3 -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS





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