Paterson NJ High School Graduation Rates in 2022

PATERSON – The city’s high school graduation rate increased slightly in 2022, reaching 81.3%, but remains below the high of 87.8% that Paterson achieved in 2017.

A district report showed that 820 of the 1,250 graduates of Paterson schools this year received their diplomas by going through the portfolio appeal process in math and 729 did so in language arts.

Officials said the numbers for students going through portfolio appeals were higher than usual because New Jersey did not offer standardized high school diploma tests, as it has in the past.

Paterson Public Schools Superintendent Eileen F. Shafer announces a partnership with local churches and faith-based organizations to bring Faith Closets to 33 schools, providing students in grades 6-12 with access to essential personal hygiene items, during a press conference in July.  13, 2022. Students often go without essential items, especially due to the impact of the pandemic and rising inflation.

“The data presented is encouraging, but it also shows the challenges our students, families, teachers and administrators have faced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent of Schools Eileen Shafer.

In 2019, before COVID-19, Paterson’s graduation rate was 79.5%, according to district data. The rate fell to 78.8% in 2020 when the pandemic began, but climbed to 80.2% in 2021.

The average graduation rate in New Jersey in 2019 was 91%.

Paterson officials said the number of students earning degrees through the portfolio alternative has been increasing because of changes made during the pandemic. The state Department of Education canceled its diploma tests the past two years during COVID-19, officials said.

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