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Quadruple Jeopardy

January 22, 2010 pm31 8:12 pm

Schools in New York City are measured by Progress Reports, by Quality Reviews, by New York State criteria, and by No Child Left Behind criteria. The criteria, what they look at, and how they measure them, are all very different.

Three of these measures rely, in part, on test scores. We know that there are serious problems with using scores – how do they take into account how much the kids already knew? – and some of the test are just lousy. The NAEP is widely regarded as a good measure of progress – and none of the other tests have scores that line up with that.

The state and city measures are largely contradictory. The State list of schools to be restructured includes schools that got As from the City. And schools the City is closing, the State says are doing just fine.

Enough of the measures are tied to student socio-economic status that we can draw a safe conclusion:  if you are poor, your school will probably fail one of the four tests. Congratulations to Dewitt Clinton for escaping this year. But the New York State list was just released, and four additional Bronx schools got caught:  JFK, Jane Addams, Grace Dodge, and Fordham Leadership.

The full list of the NYC proposed closings:

  • Bronx (7):  Columbus, Smith (partial), New Day, Monroe Academy of Business and Law, Global Enterprise, School of Community Research and Learning, FDA III
  • Brooklyn (5):  Maxwell, Robeson, Metropolitan Corporate Academy, Academic and Social Excellence, PS332
  • Manhattan (5):  Norman Thomas, Choir Academy of Harlem, Academy of Environmental Science, ACE, Kappa II
  • Queens (3): Jamaica, Beach Channel, Business Computer Applications HS

The full list of the NYS “Persistently Lowest Achieving”:

  • Bronx (7): Columbus, Kennedy, Grace Dodge, Jane Addams, Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology, Monroe Academy for Business and Law, PS 65 Mother Hale
  • Brooklyn (11): Sheepshead Bay, Grady, Dewey, FDR, Maxwell, Robeson, Boys and Girls, Metropolitan Corporate Academy, Cobble Hill School of American Studies, School for Global Studies, Automotive
  • Manhattan (6): Washington Irving, Unity Center for Urban Technologies, Chelsea, Norman Thomas, Graphics, Bread and Roses
  • Queens (10): Newtown, Grover Cleveland, Queens Vocational, Flushing, August Martin, Beach Channel, Richmond Hill, John Adams, Jamaica, Long Island City

Notice the numbers of large high schools. Notice the number of vocational high schools.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 pm31 9:17 pm 9:17 pm

    Duly noted. Obama was a huge mistake, one we’ve barely begun to pay for.

  2. January 23, 2010 pm31 12:23 pm 12:23 pm

    As Captain Barbarosa might have told me, “You better notice the number of vocational high schools. You’re in one.”

    Times never cease to be interesting.

  3. Lynne Winderbaum permalink
    February 22, 2010 am28 10:53 am 10:53 am

    There is so much empirical evidence that all these criteria measure demographics and not “progress”. Therefore, basing a school’s success on this data does nothing more than punish a school for working with the students that have special needs. One day soon, we should show this data in a way that correlates the benchmarks the city, state, and federal government demand with the predictive demographics of the populations the school serves. Then you will see the unfairness of the negative characterizations of some of our most universally quality school programs. I have seen data on this but it does not get the public presentation that raw test scores and four-year graduation rates get.
    Either the decisions are based on simplistic interpretations of the numbers and are indifferent to the services to our city’s students provided only by the schools deemed “failures”, or there is a more sinister motive of clearing the terrain for privately run schools and corporate interests. I don’t know which, but neither is just.

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