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YPIE Recognized as a Key Factor in Closing the Achievement Gap in Yonkers

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

We are very proud that YPIE has been recognized as one of the key factors in closing the achievement gap in Yonkers!

An excerpt from an article in LoHud 1/31/19

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia began a call with reporters Thursday, set up to explain 2018 graduation data, by asserting that the "No. 1 priority" of the state Board of Regents is closing the student achievement gap.

Working toward equity among student groups has also been a top issue in the Yonkers Public Schools — and new state data shows the district is starting to see some success.

Historically, certain groups of students — including economically disadvantaged students, English language learners (ELLs), and those with disabilities — have lagged behind their peers in academic achievement. This has been especially true in large urban school systems, like New York state's "Big 5" districts, New York City, Yonkers, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

Key factors behind recent progress in Yonkers include:

  • Superintendent Edwin Quezada has made equity among student groups a priority during his nearly three years as schools chief, focusing on reducing student suspensions, improving academic achievement for all groups, and opening opportunities for people of color.

  • Yonkers Partners in Education, a nonprofit that is partially housed in the Yonkers schools, has grown exponentially over 12 years. YPIE provides numerous services to help students graduate and succeed in college. The program, which raises private funds for its work, now assists as many as 1,200 students annually.

  • Yonkers' My Brother's Keeper initiative has received national and state recognition. Elia praises MBK programs across the state for helping to close achievement gaps. The state has invested $48 million in the programs across New York.

Quezada said 2018's graduation rates show Yonkers is making progress.

"When you look at our underserved populations, and our black and Hispanic students, you can see there's a significant increase, so we are really focused in on the needs of those students and we're seeing that it's paying off," he said in a statement. "More of those young people are graduating and that is very, very hopeful."

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