Friday, January 18, 2019

NYSED releases a new list of supposedly struggling schools in need of support - including those removed from this designation by the commissioner

Last evening, Commissioner Elia released a new list of schools and whether they are in good standing, or identified for Comprehensive support (supposed to be applied to the lowest 5% of schools, according to the formula used in NYS ESSA plan) or targeted support (supposed to be applied to the lowest 10% of schools.) 
The full list and more info is available here.  Schools identified for comprehensive support will receive an unspecified amount of  extra money from the state to self-evaluate and implement their choice of  “evidence-based” improvements from a list of options supplied to by NYSED, as explained in Chalkbeat here:
Eighty-four of the city’s schools are on the lowest rung — known as “Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools” — and will be required to craft improvement plans approved by the state. The remaining 40 schools are only in need of “targeted” support and will face less intense oversight.
The lowest-performing schools were identified partly because they were in the bottom 10 percent of schools across the state on a combined measure of growth and proficiency on state tests — the biggest factor that went into their rating. For the first time, state officials also took into account science exams, progress on a test taken by English learners, and rates of chronic absenteeism.
At the high school level, graduation played a big role, and any school that did not graduate 67 percent of its students within six years was automatically identified. New measures of college and career readiness were also factored in.

Five of the NYC schools identified as needing comprehensive support (CSI) schools are charters: New Visions Charter High School For Humanities II, New Visions Aim Charter High School II, New Dawn Charter HS, Opportunity Charter School, and New Visions Charter High School For Humanities II.
How schools’ opt out rates figure into their identification is unclear, according to the official account offered by Ira Schwartz of NYSED.
One measure of achievement, called the Weighted Average Achievement Index, assumes opt out students were level ones, another called the Core Subject Performance Index excludes opt out students from the calculation altogether.  Then the two measures are combined to make a Composite performance level in a manner that is so confusing way I cannot understand it.  [If you can, please explain below.]

112 schools statewide that might have been identified as either CSI or TSI schools were moved into the “good standing” category are designated as GS# - meaning  Accountability status is based on a finding by the Commissioner of extenuating or extraordinary circumstances.” 
Forty-one of the schools moved into good standing are in NYC, including three charter schools -- Urban Dove, Lindsay Wildcat Academy and New Visions Aim Charter 1.  One district --  District 22 --  was also moved into the good standing category by the Commissioner, presumably after an appeal by the Chancellor.  (Someone should ask the Chancellor about this.)  

To the right and above are the only NYC districts in Good standing  - meaning they have no schools needing comprehensive support. The list of struggling schools and districts is surprising in many ways.  Several schools are identified as needing Comprehensive support despite the fact that all their student subgroups are listed as in good standing, which I don't understand either.

Comments welcome below.

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