Buffalo Superintendent Addresses Dismal Graduation Rate

June 18, 2013 Updated Jun 18, 2013 at 8:14 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

June 18, 2013 Updated Jun 18, 2013 at 8:14 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - New numbers paint a grim pictured for education in Buffalo Public Schools.

Fewer than 50-percent of students in the Queen City actually graduate -- and very few are ready for college or a job.

Superintendent Pamela Brown says that in the last year, the school district has already made changes.

Her goal is to bring the graduation up to 80-percent by 2018.

The rate in 2012 fell to 46.8-percent, more than seven percent lower than the year before.

Not even 10-percent of those who did graduate were ready for college or a career.

Doctor Pamela Brown says she knew about the low graduation rates when she came to Buffalo last year.

Some of the changes already in place include more rigorous curriculums, a better summer school program and more resources in the classroom.

"Teachers have to have better tools," Brown says. "We've done a textbook adoption series in English Language Arts, so that the access to curriculum material is much more up to date. The district hadn't adopted a textbook updated series in the last nine years."

Brown says the district also wants to work with parents to increase attendance rates -- another big problem the Buffalo schools face.

The graduation rate statewide is 74-percent, which is about 28-percent higher than Buffalo.