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Saturday, September 3, 2011

The top NYC public high schools in terms of college-readiness and SAT scores

Here is a file of NYC high schools ranked as to the percentage of their students in 2010 who graduated “college-ready,” which is estimated by the state education department as scoring at least 75 on the Regents exam in English and 80 on Math – called the "aspirational performance measure," or APM.  Here is a file ranked by their students' 2010 SAT scores.  UPDATE: here are files with 2011 SAT scores and AP scores.
Students scoring lower than this on the APM, according to the state, are likely to need remediation in college.  The spreadsheet also disaggregates this percentage by ELL and special education status, gender and ethnicity.
Lots of caveats before you interpret the APM or SAT list as a reliable ranking of the quality of NYC high schools:
  • To a large degree, these results are determined by the selectivity of the schools' admissions process – not the quality of the school itself.  In other words, schools with the highest percentages of college-ready graduates tend to be those that admit the highest-achieving 8th graders in the first place.  (See this recent paper, for example, that suggests that attending a highly selective high school like Stuyvesant or Bronx Science does not appear to increase SAT scores, college enrollment or college graduation rates.)
  • Schools with fewer than 20 students in any cohort are listed an “s” for suppressed.

  • Some NYC high schools are alternative/portfolio schools and do not take the math Regents; so they are omitted from the APM list.

  •  Regents scores are not in themselves wholly reliable indicators since schools grade these exams themselves;  now that the city has announced that they will use the college-ready percentage in their accountability system, this measurement will be even less reliable in the future.

  • These figures do not take into account the high dropout and/or discharge rate at many high schools; thus, one way a high school might be able to elevate its score is by pushing many low-achieving students out.

  • In any case, test scores in isolation are never a reliable gauge of achievement or actual learning.   
Still, I think it’s interesting and worthwhile for parents to have access to this information.  The statistics overall are lamentably low.  Statewide, only about 37% of students graduate from high school college-ready; in the city, the figure is even lower at  21.4%.
    Here is an article about the low college-readiness percentages of some NYC high schools with high graduation rates; here is a link to the NYSED explanation of these scores.  See this NY Post article that ranks the top 50 HS in NYC by using several academic measures.  Here is the DOE webpage with AP results as well.

    1 comment:

    Aurora Orsini said...

    Congratulations to all the students! Good luck on your future. As long as there are graduates, there is hope for a brighter future.