Posts tagged "target practice"
October 10, 2012
All but four of the three dozen schools that monitors visited in April as part of the city’s test security program had previously been the subject of cheating allegations.
Last spring, the Department of Education sent test monitors into 37 schools during a six-day period when students take standardized state tests, the results of which weigh heavily in how schools and teacher performances are measured.
Officials had previously billed the visits as a randomized tool to deter school staff from violating test security guidelines.
“Even schools that don’t actually get a visit … know that they could get a visit at any moment,” spokeswoman Connie Pankratz said of the program in August.
But it turns out that 33 of the 37 schools were not randomly selected at all, according to officials. Instead, the department was taking a hard look at the test administration practices of schools where it had already dispatched investigators to look into allegations of cheating. (more…)
June 13, 2012
The head of one of the city’s largest charter school networks is calling on state charter authorizers to reject a law that requires schools to serve a larger share of high-needs students.
The law, Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz wrote in a letter to authorizers this month, creates “perverse incentives” for charter schools to “over-identify” students in high-needs categories, an effect that she said would do more harm than good for children.
“We urge you not to impose any enrollment and retention targets,” Moskowitz wrote to the New York State Education Department and SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which are charged with enforcing the law. “Instead, we request that you partner with us in going to Albany to change this poorly-thought-out legislation.”
The mandate for charter schools to enroll more high-needs students was established in 2010 when lawmakers passed the Race to the Top bill. A charter sector self-assessment earlier this year found that a large majority of charter schools still served lower proportions of poor, special-needs and English language learning students than their districts.
It’s taken some time to iron out the details, but last month authorizers proposed a method of calculating the targets that they intend to use. The proposal is a complex methodology that would assign enrollment targets to each charter school based on the overall ratio of high-needs students in school districts where they operate. Schools that repeatedly fail to comply could be closed. (more…)
May 16, 2012
The state is preparing to take a step forward in implementing a two-year-old clause in its charter school law that requires the schools to serve their fair share of high-needs students.
When legislators revised the charter school law in 2010, their main objective was to increase the number of charters allowed. But they also added a requirement that charter schools enroll “comparable” numbers of students with disabilities and English language learners, populations that the schools typically under-enroll.
What comparability would mean has never been clear — until now. Last week, the state unveiled a proposed methodology for calculating enrollment targets, and it intends to finalize the algorithm at next month’s meeting of SUNY’s Board of Trustees, which oversees charter schools.
The targets would vary from school to school and be determined based on the overall ratio of high-needs students in each district. The proposal includes a calculator that determines enrollment targets for any school based on its location, the grades it serves, and the size of its student body.
Under the proposed methodology, a charter school with 400 students in grades five through eight in Upper Manhattan’s District 6, for example, would have to enroll 98 percent students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 15 percent students with disabilities, and 44 percent ELLs. In District 2, which has more affluent families and fewer immigrants, a similar school would be expected to enroll 64 percent poor students and 13.4 percent ELLs. But it would still need to have 15 percent of students with special needs. (more…)