ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Rochester City School district saw its graduation rate improve in 2017, according to a report released on Wednesday by the New York State Education Department.

The study shows that 51.9 percent of students who entered ninth grade in 2013 graduated by June 2017, an improvement from 47.7 percent in 2016. The increase is the highest on record for RCSD since 2005, when the state began tracking rigorous accountability data.

“These modest increases offer positives signs, but still too few of our children are crossing the stage. Rochester graduation rates have remained unacceptably low for entirely too long,” said Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams. “Equity demands we continue to take appropriate action to provide our children the necessary resources to accelerate progress,” she added.

Graduation rates also increased by 3.9 percent for students with disabilities, improving from 32.5 percent in 2016 to 36.4 percent in 2017.  

Despite the positive changes, Rochester still ranks last among the state's five biggest city school districts.