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.

Like most of life, children’s education was dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with many students in our area learning on a fully or partially remote basis in the 2020-21 school year. As a result, most students did not take state tests and therefore testing data in this section has not been updated (for more information, see the state’s website).

The percentage of children attending pre-kindergarten in our region increased by 23 percentage points since 2008. In 2020, 58% of the 4-year-olds in the region were enrolled in prekindergarten, above the 53% statewide.

Our four-year high school graduation rate was above the statewide rate: 89% of regional students who began high school in 2017 graduated on time, compared to 86% of students statewide. In the City of Rochester, the rate was 71%. Given another year, more students made it through high school. The regional five-year rate for the Class of 2016 was 89% and Rochester’s five-year rate increased to 71%, a three point gain over the four-year rate of 68%.

Disparities are also present in our region’s graduation rates by race/ethnicity, and are larger than at the state level. In our region, 80% of African American and 78% of Hispanic students graduated in four years, in comparison to 92% of white and 91% of Asian students. At the state level, 80% of both Hispanic and African American students graduated in four years, compared to 90% of white and 92% of Asian students.

Pre-pandemic, state testing data showed just 44% of the region’s 3rd graders met reading standards in 2019.

Just 44% of 3rd graders in our region passed the state’s reading test, linked to Common Core standards, below the state’s 52%. The passing rate was especially low in the City of Rochester at 18%, though the City has increased 8 percentage points since 2017 . Passing rates were higher on 3rd grade math: 49% in the region, compared to 55% statewide. In 8th grade math, our region had 45% of students pass either the 8th grade state test or a Regents math test, compared to 48% 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 (48%) and Asian students (55%) than among Hispanic and African American students (at 20% and 17% respectively) in 2019. Similarly, only 22% of the region’s low-income students passed the 8th grade English exam, in comparison to 39% 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 2019, 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 2 points on math and were 1 point below on English in 2019. About 73% of students in our region passed the Common Core Regents math exam in 2019, and 83% passed the Common Core Regents English.

Spending per student by school districts in our region increased 54% since 2000, even after adjusting for inflation. In 2019, our school districts spent over $23,800 per student, below the state rate of $27,200.

Of the adults in the region, 63% have attended at least some college, above state and national levels. While 33% of the region’s adults have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 10% have not obtained a high school degree. This compares to 13% of adults statewide and 12% 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 78% 2018 3 1
Increasing
Prenatal Care, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable*
Babies Born with Low Birth Weights 8.4% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Babies Born with Low Birth Weights, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality Rate 6.9 2017-19 2 0
Maintaining
Infant Mortality Rate, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0.8% 2018 2 -1
Decreasing
Children in Poverty 19% 2016-20 3 1
Increasing
Children in Poverty, Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Single-Parent Families 39% 2016-20 2 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect 20 2020 2 1
Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions 1.8 2020 2 -1
Decreasing
Rate of Teen Pregnancy 1.3% 2019 3 -1
Decreasing
Rate of Teen Births 12 2019 2 -1
Decreasing
Arts and Culture Attendance 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Tourism Spending $894 2020 1 -1
Decreasing
Recreation Spending $52 2020 1 -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 83% 2020 2 1
Increasing
Voter Participation Rate 64% 2020 3 1
Increasing
Registered Library Borrowers 58% 2019 2 -1
Decreasing
Library Visits 5.4 2019 3 -1
Decreasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income 0.8% 2019 2 -1
Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles 10% 2016-20 3 0
Maintaining
Total Population 1.9% 2020 2 1
Increasing
Population by Age 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Population by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16 to 19 6% 2016-20 3 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income $61,376 2016-20 1 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living in Poverty 13% 2016-20 3 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living in Poverty, by Sex 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Public Assistance Recipients 1.7% 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
Approval Rate for Public Assistance Applications 24% 2020 0 -1
Decreasing
Females Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Seniors Living in Poverty, by Sex 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP 13% 2016-20 3 -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Female Seniors Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Tax Filers Receiving Earned Income Tax Credit 15% 2019 3 -1
Decreasing
EITC Dollars $173 2019 1 -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Jobs -8% 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
Change in Number of Business Establishments by Sector 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Jobs by Sector 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Sector Shares of Regional Total Employment 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate 8.1% 2020 3 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Average Salary by Sector 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 12% 2020 3 1
Increasing
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 by Sector 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Employment-to-Population Ratio 60% 2016-20 2 -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation 58% 2020 3 1
Increasing
School Spending Per Student $23,561 2020 1 1
Increasing
Instructional Spending Per Student $16,983 2020 1 1
Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services 2021 0 -1
Decreasing
Grade 3 English 44% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 3 English by Race/Ethnicity 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 3 Math 49% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 Math by Student Subgroup 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 3 Math by Race/Ethnicity 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 8 English 39% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Grade 8 English by Student Subgroup 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 8 English by Race/Ethnicity 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 8 Math 49% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Regents Algebra 1 73% 2019 3 1
Increasing
Regents English 83% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate 89% 2021 3 1
Increasing
Cohort Graduation Rate, Beyond Four Years 89% 2021 3 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Without Health Insurance 4% 2019 3 -1
Decreasing
Supply of Doctors 35.3 2019 1 1
Increasing
Mortality Rate 693 2019 1 -1
Decreasing
Chlamydia Rate 55 2018 3 1
Increasing
Chlamydia Rates, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable*
Gonorrhea Rate 18 2018 3 -1
Decreasing
Maternal Health, by Race/Ethnicity 2016-18 0 10 Not Applicable*
Gonorrhea Rates, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable*
Early Syphilis Rates 1.8 2018 3 1
Increasing
Early Syphilis Rates within Monroe County, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living with HIV 104 2019 0 1
Increasing
People Living with HIV by Race/Ethnicity 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living with AIDS 132 2019 0 1
Increasing
People Living with AIDS by Race/Ethnicity 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 0 10 Not Applicable*
Alcohol-related Crashes 2.5 2020 2 -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value $143,640 2016-20 1 1
Increasing
Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment by Primary Substance 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Median Rental Prices $896 2016-20 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners 2.3 2016-20 3 0
Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Overall Housing Cost Burden 28% 2016-20 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Renters 32% 2016-20 3 10 Not Applicable*
Rent Burdened Households 47% 2016-20 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Homeownership Rate 68% 2016-20 3 -1
Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity 2016-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Vacant Housing Units 9% 2016-20 3 1
Increasing
Homeless Persons 0 10 Not Applicable*
Serious Crimes 170 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
Violent Crimes 24 2020 3 1
Increasing
Victims of Domestic Violence 57 2020 0 -1
Decreasing
Incarceration Rates 8.7 2020 0 -1
Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 2018 0 10 Not Applicable*
Arrest Rates 130.1 2020 2 -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 2020 0 10 Not Applicable*
Per-Capita Spending for Local Government $3,731 2019 0 1
Increasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0.68 2016-20 3 0
Maintaining
*No or multiple regional values for this indicator


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





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