ROC The Future, a community-wide alliance of organizations designed to improve academic achievement for Rochester’s youth, released it’s 2015 report card Oct. 16, which the group said showed a 20 percent increase in school-age children enrolled in pre-kindergarten this school year.
Seventy-five percent of four-year-olds are currently enrolled in pre-K in 2015, compared to 75 percent of four-year-olds last year. There have also been slight upticks in graduation rates, and the number of children born to mothers who received early prenatal care, according to the report.
Fifty-one percent of students graduated in 2014, compared to 48 percent of high school students in 2013, and, 72 percent of children were born to mothers who received early prenatal care in 2013, compared to 69 percent of children in 2012, the report said.
“Children’s road to success begins before they are born, with healthy choices by their parents,” stated the report. “One of those is accessing early prenatal care (in the first trimester of pregnancy). In Rochester in 2013, 72 percent of births were to women who received early prenatal care, up from 63 percent in 2000, though still below the region-wide figure of 78 percent.”
The number of chronically absent students in grades K-3 also fell, from 47 percent in 2014 to 37 percent in 2015, and decreased slightly in elementary and secondary schools as well.
However, on the contrary, although some progress has been made with early childhood measures, the group found that only 18 percent of Rochester graduates who enrolled at Monroe Community College had been considered college-ready by the school.
And, state test results were dismal, showing only seven percent of third graders who took the state reading exam met the state’s standards on the test.
But, the coalition said it plans to continue to collaborating in order to improve the report card’s indicators.
“Since many of our efforts may take years to show results, we also track interim process indicators,” the group said.
ROC The Future also said the Rochester school district’s application for a $12 million grant in state funds largely accounted for the increase in Pre-K enrollment.
“As a result, this will allow the district to serve up to 1,000 more three-year-olds, in community and school-based settings, beginning in January 2016,” the organization stated.
Visit http://www.actrochester.org/roc-the-future to view the report’s full findings, or additional information from the report.