2007-11-08 / Front Page

LOCAL SCHOOLS MAKE THE GRADE

Neil S. Friedman

LOCAL SCHOOLS MAKE THE GRADE

John Wilson Intermediate School 211 on East 100th Street is one of five District 18 schools that received a grade of "A"in first-ever Progress Reports released by the mayor and schools chancellor on Monday.                                            Neil S. Friedman
John Wilson Intermediate School 211 on East 100th Street is one of five District 18 schools that received a grade of "A"in first-ever Progress Reports released by the mayor and schools chancellor on Monday. Neil S. Friedman Twenty nine percent of District 18 schools received a grade of A in the Department of Education's first-ever Progress Reports released this week.

Of the seventeen District 18 schools in Canarsie and parts of East Flatbush evaluated, all but three received a grade of C or better, with one school rated D and two others F.

District 18 schools rated A were: P.S./I.S. 66, P.S. 115, P.S. 208, I.S. 211 and P.S. 219. Schools with a B were: P.S. 233 and P.S. 244; Cs were given to I.S. 68, P.S. 135, P.S. 235, P.S. 268, P.S. 276. P.S. 279 and I.S. 285. P.S. 114 got the district's lone D and Canarsie High School and P.S. 272 were among the 50 city schools that got Fs, placing all three in jeopardy that "could include closing them by the end of the school year," DOE spokesman Andy Jacob told the Courier Monday. I.S. 232, I.S. 252 and South Shore High School were not graded because they are being phased out.

Mayor Bloomberg (left)and Schools Chancellor Klein (right) unveiled Progress Reports for city's public schools on Monday.           Edward Reed
Mayor Bloomberg (left)and Schools Chancellor Klein (right) unveiled Progress Reports for city's public schools on Monday. Edward Reed Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein released the initial reports for more than 1,200 public schools citywide on Monday at a Manhattan elementary school.

The reports give each school a letter grade from A-F based on the academic achievement and progress of students as well as the results of surveys taken by parents, students, and teachers last spring. These reports are the centerpiece of the city's effort to give educators the information and authority essential to lead their schools and to hold them accountable for student outcomes. The reports also provide parents with detailed information about school performance, both to hold their schools accountable and to inform family decisions.

"Information is power, which is why we're committed to providing clear, comprehensive information about our schools to educators and to families," said the mayor. "With these Progress Reports, parents no longer have to navigate a maze of statistics to determine how their child's school is doing and how it compares to others. And our educators now have a new tool to help them see exactly where their school need improvement and find similar schools that could help them do it."

Using DOE's new Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), educators can easily identify schools similar to theirs and learn from those schools' successes in specific areas. Each school's grade is based on its score in three categories: school environment (15%), student performance (30%), and student progress (55%). It should be noted that the grades are based solely on improvement, not state education standards, so some schools with a high percentage of students meeting those standards may not have gotten an equivalent grade on the reports.

"School environment" includes the results of surveys taken by parents, students, and teachers last spring, as well as student attendance rates. The "student performance" category measures actual student outcomes - whether elementary and middle school students are proficient in reading and math and whether high school students are graduating. "Student progress" has the highest weight because it measures how schools are helping students improve year-to-year-gains in reading and math proficiency for elementary and middle school students, and credit accumulation and Regents exam pass rates for high school students. Schools that do an exemplary job closing the achievement gap can earn additional credit.

"Schools can't improve without first knowing exactly what they're doing well and what's not working," Klein said. "These reports will give educators and parents the clear information they need to make smart decisions and accelerate progress in their school. The data they provide will also allow us to hold schools accountable for how well students are learning."

Of 1,224 schools with reports, 279 (23%) earned an A, 461 (38%) earned a B, 312 (25%) earned a C, 99 (8%) earned a D, and 50 (4%) earned an F. Schools that earned an A and scored "well developed" on last year's school Quality Reviews will receive additional funding in exchange for serving as a demonstration site for other schools.

Schools, such as Canarsie High School, that earned Ds and Fs will be required to submit "action plans" that detail specific steps they will take to improve and address their weaknesses in order to meet improvement targets. DOE officials have been meeting with schools to help them develop these action plans. D and F schools that also received low Quality Review scores or that do not meet their improvement targets in the coming years will face consequences including leadership change or closure. Students in F schools and in schools that face closure will be eligible to transfer as part of the City's No Child Left Behind school transfer process this spring. Schools that take these students will receive additional funding.

Progress Reports for all schools are available on the DOE's Web site at www.nyc.gov. Parents can find a report by searching in the "Find a School" search tool then clicking on "Statistics" on the school's homepage. Elementary and middle school parents will also receive copies of their school's Progress Report, Quality Review report, and Learning Environment Survey results at parent-teacher conferences this month in eight languages. Because parent-teacher conferences have already occurred, high schools will hold meetings for parents this month to distribute these materials and answer questions.

Return to top

Copyright© 2000 - 2014
Canarsie Courier Publications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved