School Progress Reports Given Out By Dept. Of Ed
Overall Improvement Is Shown
The Department of Education released its second annual School Progress Reports for elementary and middle schools on Sept. 16, showing marked improvement in many schools both locally and throughout the city.
As noted in a press release announcing the grades, the reports give letter grades of A to F to schools based on student academic achievement and progress as well as student attendance and the results of annual parent, teacher, and student surveys about schools' learning environments.
The release came with a bounty of statistics showing gains across the board.
Fifty-eight percent of schools moved up by at least one letter grade or received an A for the second year in a row. Fifty-seven percent of the schools that earned As last year did so again this year. Additionally, 71 percent of schools that received Cs or Ds last year rose to become Bs this year.
No school that received an F last year received an F this year; 18 of last year's F schools became Bs this year and nine became As. In all, 38 percent of schools received As, up from 23 percent last year.
Of the schools that received Progress Reports, 394 received an A (38 percent), 423 received a B (41 percent), 158 received a C (15 percent), 50 received a D (five percent), and 18 received an F (two percent).
Last year, 226 elementary, middle, and K-8 schools received an A (23 percent), 372 received a B (38 percent), 258 received a C (26 percent), 86 received a D (nine percent), and 35 received an F (four percent).
Fifty-eight percent of schools moved up at least one letter grade or attained an A for two years in a
-CONTINUED FROM PG. 3- row. Last year, there were 123 As for elementary schools; this year, there are 265. Last year, there were 30 As for K-8 schools; this year, there are 34. Last year, there were 73 As for middle schools; this year, there are 95.
More than half of the schools that earned As last year earned As again this year (57 percent). Of the 226 schools that got As last year, 128 were As this year and 75 were Bs.
Seventy-one percent of schools that received Cs and Ds last year rose to become As and Bs this year.
No school that received an F last year received an F this year. Of the 34 elementary and middle schools that received an F last year and are not phasing out, only one received a D and six received Cs. Eighteen of last year's F schools were Bs this year and nine were As. Half the schools that earned Ds and Fs last year improved to Bs this year.
While many schools districts fared better, some schools that did well in last year's reports did not repeat the feat.
In District 24, the best performing school was Ridgewood's P.S. 81, with a score of 86.9 and an A grade. Middle Village's P.S. 128 scored the worst (39.0, a grade of C.)
Last year's top school, P.S. 199 in Sunnyside, dropped precipitously, from a 74.64 in 2007 to a 41.5 this time around, falling from an A to a C. Last year's worst school, I.S. 119 in Glendale, fared slightly better, raising its score from a 35.01 to 41.5, rising from a D to a C.
In District 27, Richmond Hill's P.S. 294 fared the best of schools in the Times Newsweekly's coverage area, scoring a 91.0 for an A grade. J.H.S. 226 in South Ozone Park fared the worst, with a score of 41.4 and a D grade.
Last year's top school, Board Channel's P.S. 47, fell from a 77.49 (an A) to a 51.3 (a B), while last year's worst school, South Ozone Park's P.S. 155, rose from a 29.42 (an F) to a 57.6 (a B).
In District 28, Rego Park's P.S. 175, last year's top school in our area, repeated the feat with a score of 80.9 (just a bit higher than last year's 80.39) and a grade of A.
P.S. 174 and P.S. 206, both also in Rego Park, did the worst, both scoring a 46.8, good enough for a B grade.
Last year's worst school in our area, P.S. 144 in Forest Hills, jumped from a score of 39.1 to a score of 50, rising one letter grade to a B.
In District 30, the Academy for New Americans in Astoria scored an 89.9 (an A grade), the highest in the district. P.S. 127 in East Elmhurst scored a 40.6 (a C grade), worst in the district.
P.S. 78 in Long Island City, which was last year's top performer, fell from an 83.93 to a 58.3, dropping from an A to a B. Woodside's P.S. 151, last year's worst school, showed dramatic improvement, jumping from a failing grade of 27.95 to an A grade of 66.5.
In Bushwick's District 32, P.S. 284 took top honors with a grade of 84.1, good or an A. I.S. 347 brought up the rear with a C grade and a score of 45.2.
P.S. 45, which was the district's highest-scoring school in 2007, was even better in 2008, rising from a B grade and a score of 77.85 to an A grade and a score of 82.3. J.H.S. 296, which had a failing grade of 28.54 last year, rose to a 54.3, a grade of B.
Progress Reports give each school an overall letter grade based on three categories, each of which this year receives a grade as well: school environment (15 percent), student performance (25 percent), and student progress (60 percent).
"School environment" includes the results of surveys taken by more than 800,000 parents, students, and teachers last spring, as well as student attendance rates. "Student performance" measures actual student outcomes-whether elementary and middle school students are proficient in reading and math.
"Student progress" measures how schools are helping students improve from one year to the next. Schools that do an exemplary job closing the achievement gap earn additional credit.
Three-fourths of a school's Progress Report score comes from comparing the school's results to the 40 or so other schools in the city that serve the most similar student populations. The remaining onefourth of a school's score is based on a comparison with all schools citywide that serve the same grade levels.
Schools that earned Ds and Fs could face consequences that include leadership changes or closure; last year, nine schools that earned Ds and Fs began phasing out. Eighteen schools that earned Ds and Fs have new principals this year. Since 2002, the DOE has phased out 83 failing schools. In addition, students enrolled at schools that earned an F who will be enrolled at the school again next year will be able to apply to transfer to another school this spring.
Feedback from principals, elected officials, union leaders, Community Education Councils and other members of school communities led to several changes to this year's Progress Reports, including:
• letter grades for each of the three major categories on the Progress Report in addition to the overall grade, which give parents and others in the community a clearer sense of a school's specific strengths and weaknesses;
• changes to peer group and progress calculations that allow more accurate comparisons among schools that serve different numbers of special education students;
• separate progress measures for low-achieving and high-achieving students that allow for more accurate comparisons among schools that serve different numbers of students in these groups; and,
• changes to the score weighting to better measure the contributions schools make to student learning.
Elementary, middle, and K-8 schools will distribute Progress Report results to families at parentteacher conferences this fall. Progress Reports are also available now at www.nyc.gov/schools. The Progress Report grades for area schools. High scores are in BOLD; low scores are in ITALICS.
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