Research and Press
In November, 2008, the Boston Private Industry Council and the Boston Public Schools, with funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Boston Foundation, released the findings of the first in the nation extensive analysis of Boston Public Schools ("BPS") graduates’ outcomes after high school. The report, Getting to the Finish Line: College Enrollment and Graduation, is the result of tracking the seven-year outcomes of every BPS student who graduated from high school in June, 2000.
The report shows that only 35% of BPS high school graduates from the class of 2000 that enrolled in college completed a 2- or 4-year degree within seven years of graduating from high school. The report provides additional detail about student outcomes by race and ethnicity, gender, and type of high school attended, highlighting significant achievement gaps in both college enrollment and graduation rates, including:
• Excluding students who attended Boston’s three Exam Schools, the number of BPS graduates who complete a college degree within seven years drops to a mere 24%. In other words, of the 1,286 non-Exam School graduates who enroll in college, just over 300 completed a degree within 7 years.
• College graduation rates for black and Hispanic college enrollees from BPS are substantially lower than those for white and Asian students (28.2% and 23.9% versus 53.3% and 52%, respectively).
• Female enrollees have a higher college graduation rate than males (36.6% compared to 33.9%) and females enroll in college (67.9%) at significantly higher rates than that of males (59.9%).
This sobering data has catalyzed a community-wide response to support Boston’s students. On November 17, 2008, Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Foundation, and the BPS announced the College Success Initiative aimed at dramatically increasing the number of BPS students completing college. Specifically, Mayor Menino called for a 50% increase in the college graduation rate for college enrollees from the BPS class of 2009 and a doubling of the college graduation rate for college enrollees from the BPS class of 2011.
Other Research and Resources
Increasing Postsecondary Success for Underserved Students: An Annotated Bibliography with Links to Electronic Copies of Recent Studies and Reports (2011)
How Students Are Making It: Perspectives on Getting Through College from Recent Graduates of the Boston Public Schools (June 2011)
Getting Through: Higher Education’s Plan to Increase the College Completion Rates of Boston Public Schools Graduates (May 2011)
Boston Higher Education Partnership Study: Who's Making It: The Academic Achievement of Recent Boston Public Schools Graduates...(May 2009)
Getting to the Finish Line: College Enrollment and Graduation (November 2008)
From College Access to College Success (2007)