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July 20, 2018
Boundary lines of proposed South Loop high school drive wedge between communities
The parent, wearing an “I Love NTA” T-shirt, said it loudly and directly toward the end of the public comment section Thursday night.
July 18, 2018
The tension between Chicago enrollment declines and new schools
Chicago plans on opening a handful of schools in the next several years. But for whom?…
November 29, 2017
Betsy DeVos tours school during her first Tennessee visit as education chief
The secretary praised career-technical education at a traditional public school, but also put in a good word for vouchers in a state that has consistently eschewed them.
January 15, 2016
Why some New York City high schools that were designed to be diverse aren’t
The city is expanding the number of high schools who admit students with a pre-set mix of academic abilities. But there’s a problem: At many schools, it’s not working.
Behind the numbers
November 5, 2015
As de Blasio aims for algebra in every middle school, can he avoid these common pitfalls?
With his recent announcement, De Blasio is hoping to avoid the pitfalls of previous algebra for all efforts.
August 14, 2015
Call for later high school start times falls flat in Denver Public Schools
A top administrator asked Denver high schools and sixth-12th grade campuses to institute a start time of 8 a.m. or later this year, but most students won't see any changes.
Updated July 23, 2015
Report: Many NYC high schools don’t offer advanced math and science courses
A new report finds that nearly 4 in 10 city high schools do not offer algebra II and both physics and chemistry.
May 7, 2014
Tennessee lags in first high-school “nation’s report card” showing
Just 17 percent of Tennessee 12th graders tested as proficient in math and 31 scored that high in reading on the exam, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Across the country, 25 percent of 12th graders were proficient in math and 31 percent tested as proficient in reading.
March 29, 2013
In reports, validation for city's high school gains, but not its data
An independent research group with access to a trove of the city's education data concluded that most of the Bloomberg administration's claims of high school progress are credible. But in a different report commissioned by a nonprofit group that manages some city high schools, researchers found that the city's tools for evaluating schools do not treat schools with higher-need students fairly. The two reports come as the Bloomberg administration concludes a three-term spree of policy changes meant to spur improvement in the city's high schools. The spree included dozens of school closures and the creation of hundreds of new high schools, along with accountability metrics such as the annual "progress report" to make school performance transparent. Whether to continue the policies and accountability measures will be a major choice facing the next mayor.
January 10, 2013
City might take special ed funding back from schools midyear
Changes meant to help schools overhaul their special education programs have instead left principals scrambling for a budget fix. Middle and high school principals are learning this week that the Department of Education is planning to take back thousands of dollars earmarked to help their schools serve students with special needs — over a budget technicality. "Students with disabilities are the ones who lose out in this — and schools’ ability to provide what [students] need," said a principal whose school faces a cut. The issue stems from a new funding formula adopted this year as part of the Department of Education's efforts to bring students with disabilities out of self-contained classes whenever possible.
October 3, 2012
Four of 80,000 likely high school applicants share early thoughts
Families lined up outside Brooklyn Technical High School on Saturday to enter the city's annual high school fair. The city's high school admissions process definitely seems more complex and competitive since Sergio Coria went through it 20 years ago. Corio made the observation after spending more than four hours at the Citywide High School Fair at Brooklyn Technical High School on Sunday with his 13-year-old sister, Nicole. “It’s a good eye-opener to see how many students you are competing with,” Sergio said about the fair, which more than 30,000 people attended over two days. “It’s a wake-up call on what you need to do and how you need to do it — you definitely can’t wait until the last minute.” Nicole had already identified about a dozen schools in the city's high school directory that seemed to speak to her interests in art, math, and science. But she said narrowing down her choices hadn't yet given her much piece of mind. “It’s scary: You don’t know if you’re going to get accepted, and then once you get there you don’t know if you’ll like the teachers,” she said.
October 2, 2012
High schools that dodged closure try to woo new students at fair
A Long Island City High School student takes a break from his booth to meet an umbrella cockatoo from George Washington Carver High School. The white cockatoo perched on a student's shoulder during last weekend's Citywide High School Fair was just one squawking example of the lengths schools go to set themselves apart from eighth-graders' 500 other high school options. But for a small group of schools, those that the Department of Education tried but failed to close, winning the affections of eighth-graders could mean the difference between life and death. The schools were slated for an aggressive overhaul known as "turnaround" until an arbitrator ruled this summer that the process violated the city's contract with the teachers union. Turnaround would have caused the schools to close and reopen with different names, teachers, and programs. The high school of another school, Manhattan's Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing Arts, was never at risk, but its reputation suffered when the city moved to shutter its middle school. All of the schools are under pressure to demonstrate demand by December, when high school applications are due and when the Department of Education announces its annual school closure proposals. The department frequently cites low demand as a major reason for moving to close schools. Many of the ex-turnaround schools already have lower-than-usual enrollment, after last year's tumult, which started in the middle of the high school admissions progress. Many also now have new principals, programs, and organizational problems. Still, the staff and students who spoke to GothamSchools on the second day of the fair said they are putting their best foot forward. Long Island City High School During a brief lull in the fair on Sunday, juniors Arissa Hilario and Wendy Li took a break from waving families over to the Long Island City High School booth to admire Winter, an umbrella cockatoo from George Washington Carver High School making the rounds in the area for Queens schools.
July 26, 2012
City-state schism over challenge of needy students grows wider
New York City's process for assigning students to schools still sets some of the schools up to fail, State Education Commission John King charged today. "I continue to have concerns about enrollment," King said. "I worry about the over-concentration of high-needs students in particular buildings without adequate supports to ensure success." King made the comments to reporters during a break in a meeting of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state education reform commission, which met this morning in the Bronx. City officials have acknowledged King's concerns when petitioning the state for aid, but they have never conceded that high concentrations of needy students could hurt schools. Today, the Department of Education official in charge of enrollment said recent changes to the way some students are assigned to schools, made quietly last summer, were meant to increase choices for families, not respond to King's concerns or help struggling schools. King's concerns reflect longstanding criticism about the Bloomberg administration's school choice policies. For years, critics have charged that the department overloads some schools with needy students, making it hard for them to show progress or even sustain their past performance. An internal department report completed in 2008 and obtained by GothamSchools last year concluded that a high school's size and concentration of low-achieving and overage students strongly predicts its graduation rate.
February 9, 2012
IBO: Schools up for closure tonight enroll very needy students
A slide from the IBO's report about schools up for closure. For the third year in a row, the city's data watchdog has concluded that the schools the city is trying to close serve especially needy students. In 2010 and 2011, the Independent Budget Office put together longer reports about the city's school closure proposals on the request of Robert Jackson, chair of the City Council's education committee. But this year, the office, which has a special mandate to scrutinize the Department of Education's facts and figures, compiled details about the demographics, performance, and funding of schools on the chopping block on its own. Then it released the statistics in an easy-to-read, stand-alone format. Among the many people who are receiving the IBO's 13-slide presentation by email today are the members of the Panel for Educational Policy, who are set to vote on the closure proposals tonight, according to spokesman Doug Turetsky. "It's an accessible format so people can see the stats and come to their own conclusions," he said. UPDATE: Department of Education officials disputed some of the data in the slides and said the budget office had not given them as much time to review the report before publication as an agreement between the two offices requires. They urged the IBO not to release the report and then to retract it once it was published because data on at least one slide did not match information the city had provided. The budget office retracted one slide that showed change over time in the number of students with special needs at the schools. But other slides showed that the schools up for closure enroll more than the average proportion of students who have disabilities, are overage, or are considered English language learners, confirming analyses published elsewhere.
October 26, 2011
The good, the bad, & the puzzling within the progress reports
Behind the letter grade that each city high school received this week is a mess of data. Progress report scores take into account everything from how many ninth-graders earned six credits in academic courses to the number of overage students to the relative performance of students with special needs. The city's spreadsheet containing the underlying data for the progress reports runs to more than 200 columns. We sorted and re-sorted the spreadsheet to look at the city's measures of school quality in different ways. Here are some of the most interesting things we found. The top five highest-scoring schools include three schools for new immigrants (marked with asterisks): Brooklyn International High School (Brooklyn)* Manhattan Village Academy (Manhattan) It Takes A Village Academy (Brooklyn)* Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design (Brooklyn) Manhattan Bridges High School (Manhattan)* The top five lowest-scoring schools: Manhattan Theatre Lab High School (Manhattan) High School of Graphic Communication Arts (Manhattan) Samuel Gompers Career and Technical Education High School (Bronx) Herbert H. Lehman High School (Bronx) Freedom Academy High School (Brooklyn) Seven schools didn't get progress reports after their data raised red flags with department officials:
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