Monday, November 5, 2007

MAYOR, CHANCELLOR ISSUE "REPORT CARDS" FOR NYC SCHOOLS

The Department of Education issued reports cards today, called "Progress Reports" for 1,200+ schools through the City. The report cards give each school a letter grade—A, B, C, D, or 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 Progress Reports are the centerpiece of the City’s effort to arm educators with the information and authority they need to lead their schools and to hold them accountable for student outcomes" said the DOE.

The reports also provide parents with detailed information about school performance, both to hold their schools accountable and to inform family decisions. Most Progress Reports issued are for Elementary and Middle/Junior High Schools. It appears Report Cards for high schools will be issued at a later time as they are still assessing data. Report cards for elementary and middle school will be distributed to parents shortly; Parent Teacher Conferences for elementary and middle schools will be held later this month. Parent Teacher Conferences for High schools were held last week. A meeting will be scheduled in the future to give parents a copy of their child's school's progress report and to discuss it further.

Media reports suggest that the ratings will have complex results, since desirable schools may receive a lower grade if some students in need (for example, minority, English Langauge Learners or special education students) are not advancing and making demonstrable progress as shown in test scores. However, as one expert commented, Would a parent not want to send their child to a specialized school like Stuyvesant, even if the school received a "C" or an "F" ?
Time will tell.

Information on school Progress Reports can be found by visiting the NYC schools link at http://schools.nyc.gov/ . Then enter the school name or number; when you arrive at the school location, select "Statistics" & then "Progress Reports."

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