Posts tagged "graduation rate"
November 26, 2012
At a briefing on the latest high school progress report grades this afternoon, Department of Education officials touted the small boost in the number of schools receiving the best grades, but warned that the high grades might not be fully warranted.
It wasn’t easy for schools to keep their graduation rates or progress grades up this year. For the first time, most students were required to pass five Regents exams before graduating, and schools’ college readiness rates were factored into their overall progress scores. Still, 72 percent of schools received As and Bs—up from 64.4 percent last year.
Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky told reporters that the gains showed that schools were able to meet the new challenges before them.
“When you set a high bar and you give people time as you phase it in, people rise to the challenge,” he said. ” I think it’s a real accomplishment … but we’re very interested in getting schools to push higher.”
But that could mean raising the threshold for a good progress report grade—necessary to stay off the city’s list of schools it might close—for the second time since the progress reports were designed in 2007.
“If everyone’s reached the goal that we’ve set, then we typically up it because we want to push people to keep striving higher,” Polakow-Suransky said. If that happens, he added, the department will announce the new cut-off point this winter, giving schools time to reset their expectations. (more…)
June 11, 2012
Mayor Bloomberg did his best to put a rosy spin on the newly-released graduation rates that showed New York City’s progress last year has flattened for the first time in seven years.
Stunted graduation numbers weren’t a setback as much as they were an impressive achievement in the face of higher standards, he said at a press conference this afternoon. And better rates of improvement in other cities weren’t an indication of New York City’s failures, but a credit to what those school districts were doing right.
“They’re doing a great job and they should be congratulated,” Bloomberg said, even though in past years he’s used such comparisons to tout his own city’s growth. “That doesn’t mean we aren’t doing a great job.”
But even Bloomberg grew sober when asked about future graduation rates. Beginning this year, all students who began high school in 2007 or after will not have the option to earn a less-demanding local diploma, which for years helped prop up the city’s overall graduation numbers.
“That’ll make it tougher,” the mayor said. The man to his left, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, quickly agreed. (more…)
June 14, 2011
The city’s 4-year high school graduation rate continued its upward tick last year and now exceeds 60 percent for the first time, according to new figures released by the state today.
Sixty-one percent of students who entered high school in 2006 graduated four years later, according to the new figures. Last year, the city’s graduation rate was 59 percent. When August graduates are included, the rate rises to 65.1 percent.
But the new figures show that city graduates continue to lag on more demanding measures of achievement. Just 1 in 5 graduates is prepared for college, according to the state’s measure of college readiness, which looks at students’ math and English Regents exam scores in addition to their diploma type. That’s compared to 36.7 percent of graduates statewide. And just 16.4 percent of city graduates earned the prestigious Regents diploma with Advanced Distinction, far more than in the state’s four other large cities but significantly lower than the statewide average of 30.9 percent, according to the state data.
Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott are likely to emphasize the city’s performance and growth relative to the state’s four other large school districts when they present the new graduation rate at a press conference later today. (more…)
July 12, 2010
A reader recently drew my attention to a deceptively unassuming chart that the city often uses to defend its heavy reliance on state tests.
The chart shows how neatly eighth graders’ scores on the tests predict their future academic success. The higher the score they get, the better their shot at graduating high school with a Regents diploma — the only kind that will count come 2014.
But the reader pointed out that the chart also includes a more frightening statistic: Students who score at a level considered proficient by every measure, a 3 out of possible 4, only have a 55% shot of getting a Regents diploma.
March 9, 2010
More than half of the New York City’s Hispanic students graduated from high school last year, the first time the city has reached that bar since it began tracking graduation rates in the 1980s.
That statistic stood out among several gains reported in graduation rate data trumpeted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein today. The city has nearly halved its drop-out rate over the past five years, and the number of students earning Regents and Advanced Regents diplomas rose, according to data released today by the city and state education departments.
“The results for New York City are historic,” said Bloomberg, speaking to reporters at the city Department of Education’s Tweed Courthouse headquarters this afternoon.
July 16, 2009
Graduates of the city’s public high schools are falling so behind in reading and math that a community college remediation program doubled in size between 1998 and 2008, the college’s former president said this week.
Dolores Fernandez, who resigned from Hostos Community College last year is now serving as the Bronx borough president’s appointee to the re-formed Board of Education, made the remarks in an interview on a Bronx television news program, BronxTalk.
“I would have loved for the New York City public schools to put my remediation programs out of business, because that would mean that every kid graduating out of the schools could read, write, and do math,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said that a hiking up of standards at CUNY’s four-year colleges played some part in the growth of Hostos’s remediation program. “But then you still have the regular group of kids who just are coming to us in need of a GED diploma, because they haven’t graduated from the public schools, and when we get them, we’re basically teaching them reading, writing, and math — I mean, basic levels,” she said.
The gloomy picture challenges Bloomberg’s own claims about the public schools, which state figures show now graduate far more students since 2002. But Fernandez said she does not trust these figures as a fair picture of what is really happening, especially for the poor Latino community she served at Hostos Community College.
You can watch the interview in the full two parts below.
UPDATE: Department of Education spokesman Andrew Jacob points out in the comments section that a growing remediation program does not mean that more city students are struggling. His argument:
the size of the program doesn’t tell you anything about the percentage of graduates who required remediation, because the number of public school graduates enrolling at CUNY community colleges has risen dramatically in recent years–70% between 2002 and 2008. Among Hispanic public school graduates, enrollment doubled over that same time period.
With this many more students enrolling, of course the remediation program would expand, even if the percentage of graduates needing remediation fell. And, in fact, that percentage has fallen across all CUNY community colleges, from 82 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2008. Among all CUNY colleges, the remediation rate for public school graduates has fallen from 58% to 51%.
June 22, 2009
The state’s top education policymakers are considering scrapping a plan to raise high school graduation standards, a Board of Regents member told me today. The rethinking comes in response to data showing that one-third of black and Hispanic students who graduate from high school today would not graduate if the state raised its standards.
It also comes as the new Regents chancellor, Merryl Tisch, has been vowing to raise standards. Tisch recently traveled to a Chicago conference where 46 states vowed their support for common standards across the country. She did not return a request for comment this afternoon.
State school officials had said they would get rid of what are known as “local” diplomas, less rigorous versions of the more prestigious Regents diplomas, beginning with students who entered ninth-grade this year. While students must score 65 out of 100 on state subject exams to earn a Regents diploma, they can now score 55 and graduate with a local diploma.
But Regent Betty Rosa, of the Bronx, told me that the board is considering scrapping that plan, which she said was never a foregone conclusion. “I think some people thought it was, but there’s been some concern on both sides of the equations,” Rosa said.
June 22, 2009
The state Education Department has released graduation rate data on its website; find all the Power Points and spreadsheets here. The New York City rate jumped to 56% from 53% last year. We’ll have a more complete report later in the day, including coverage of Mayor Bloomberg’s take on the numbers.
June 18, 2009
The City Council’s education committee this morning is taking up concerns that the city could be in for a rude awakening in the coming years as high school graduation requirements become more stringent.
In the past, students could opt for either of two diploma types: The local diploma requires scores of at least 55 on five state Regents exams, while the more challenging Regents diploma requires those scores to be 65 or higher.
Starting with this year’s ninth-graders, all students will have to earn Regents diplomas. Some advocates are warning that the state’s new requirement could slash the city’s graduation rate, particularly for needy students. They point out that if that requirement had been in place five years ago, the city’s graduation rate would stand at just 37 percent. (more…)
April 30, 2009
Six years after Schools Chancellor Joel Klein vowed to crack down on a bureaucratic loophole that allowed principals to hide students’ failure to graduate high school, a new report (PDF) suggests that the loophole remains open and may be growing wider. The report calls for closer study of the students classified as “discharges” — departures from the system, but not dropouts — through steps including a state audit.
The report says that 21 percent of students who entered high school in 2003 both never graduated and were never counted as dropouts, instead falling into a category known as “discharges.” The percentage was up from 17.5 percent among the Class of 2000. The rate is especially high among special education students, and includes a remarkable jump in 2005, when the special education discharge rate shot up to 36 percent from 23 percent in a single year.
Students classified as discharges can include those who left the school system for legitimate reasons, such as moving to another state, deciding to enroll in an outside G.E.D. program, or death. But some advocates have argued that principals can also misuse the discharge code, entering students who simply dropped out in order to inflate their graduation rate artificially.
A recent audit of 12 high schools in New York State by the state comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, found that high schools classified students as G.E.D. discharges who did not actually enroll in a G.E.D. program. “As a result,” DiNapoli’s audit concluded, “the report cards understated the number and percentage of dropouts and overstated the percentage of graduates for some of the schools we reviewed.” The audit did not probe any New York City high schools.
Two persistent critics of the Bloomberg administration compiled the report: the executive director of Class Size Matters, Leonie Haimson, and a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, Jennifer Jennings. Jennings was the author of the now-defunct Eduwonkette blog, whose analysis of New York City education data became (as I reported) a thorn in the Bloomberg administration’s side. The report is being released at a press conference this morning held by a third critic, the city’s public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum.
City school officials were already disputing the report’s claims yesterday, before it had been released. (more…)