Posts tagged "paradigm shift"
November 26, 2012
When the Department of Education releases a new set of letter grades for high schools today, some schools could see their scores change substantially.
That’s because the latest progress reports, which the city uses in part to decide which schools to close, are the first to incorporate data about how well schools have prepared graduates for college. The shifting metrics reflect the department’s growing recognition that a high school diploma does not guarantee college success.
The new data look at the percentage of students who passed college-level exams or courses; met City University of New York proficiency standards; or entered college, the military, or a work training program, and together they make up 10 percent of each school’s score. Most of the information appeared on last year’s progress reports but did not factor into schools’ grades.
For the most part, the new data points do not work in schools’ favor. For the last two years, the city has boasted a four-year graduation rate over 60 percent. But city and state assessments of students’ college-readiness during the same period found that only about a quarter of students were ready for college four years after entering high school. The wide discrepancy means that the new metrics could easily depress some schools’ overall scores, particularly because the department reduced the weight on graduation rates and credit accumulation to free up the points. (more…)
September 27, 2012
It seemed like a good strategy: To boost the tiny number of black and Hispanic students at the city’s most elite high schools, the city this year expanded access to programs meant to prepare eighth-graders for the schools’ admissions test.
But that approach is fundamentally broken, according to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which today filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.
“More tutoring and more test prep is not the answer,” said Damon Hewitt, LDF’s director of education. “We need a real paradigm shift.”
The complaint calls for a new way of admitting students to the city’s eight specialized high schools. The schools have long screened students by ranking their performance on a one-time exam, a practice that was written into state law in 1972 for the three schools that were then open.
But that approach has yielded student bodies that do not reflect the city’s demographics — or even the demographics of the students who take the test. Last year, black and Hispanic students made up 45 percent of test-takers, but they represented only 14 percent of admitted students. At Stuyvesant High School, the most selective and least racially diverse, just 25 black and Hispanic students were offered seats. (more…)