Press Release 2.26

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** February 26, 2015

New York City’s Flawed Plans for “Priority Schools” Hurt Mayor de Blasio’s Case for Control of Failing Schools

Recent Analysis Reveals Glaring Flaws in New York City’s Plans for 91 Priority Schools, Highlighting Need for Urgent State Takeover of Failing Schools

Contact:
Khan@StuLoeser.com, 347 596 6389

New York, NY— Mayor de Blasio’s claim of responsibility for New York City’s failing schools crisis and call for permanent mayoral control is weakened by a recent analysis of the city’s plans showing flawed plans for 91 Priority Schools, said Families for Excellent Schools’ CEO Jeremiah Kittredge Thursday:

“The Mayor said voters could hold him responsible for the city’s failing schools crisis at the ballot box. But this review of the city’s plans tells us what we need to know–when it comes to failing schools, the city is clearly not up to task.

That’s why the State should assume control and create better options immediately. 143,000 kids stuck in failing schools cannot afford to wait three years for action.”

On Wednesday, Families for Excellent Schools announced that it would call on state leaders to place all 178 state-designated “Priority” schools in New York State under receivership this fall. The call follows an analysis of New York City’s school improvement plans for the city’s 91 Priority Schools–submitted by the city in December–that reveals that more than a third have absent or inadequate student achievement goals.

Of New York City’s 91 Priority Schools—schools ranked among the bottom 5% in the state—37 schools are in their third year of Priority School status and have proposed weak achievement goals for 2014-2015 that leave them in jeopardy of exceeding their three-year window for improvement.

Snapshot:

  • As required by law, New York City submitted school improvement plans to the state Education Department for 91 Priority schools on December 19, 2014 — nearly five months after their original July 31 due date.
  • 37 schools are in their third year of Priority School status and have nonexistent or incremental achievement goals in their plans. Schools with absent or inadequate goals are exceedingly unlikely to make sufficient academic progress during the rest of this year to be removed from the Priority School list.

Findings from Analysis of NYC Priority School Plans:

In New York City, there are 37 Priority Schools That Have Flawed Improvement Plans:

22* Priority Elementary Schools:

  • A full 86% of elementary/middle schools in this category have nonexistent or incremental goals heading into Year 3 of Priority School status.
  • No Goals: 50% of the elementary/middle schools don’t have any performance goals in their plans.  At these schools, an average of 6% of students were able to pass state English Language Arts and math proficiency exams.
  • Incremental Goals: 36% of the elementary/middle schools have a performance goal of improving the proficiency rate of the overall student body by less than 10 percentage points on the state exams.

17* Priority High Schools:

  • A full 65% of high schools in this category have nonexistent or incremental goals heading into Year 3 of Priority School status.
  • No Goals: 12% of the high schools don’t have any performance goals in their plans.  At these schools, only 6% of students graduated with the academic proficiency to be considered ready for college.
  • Incremental Goals: 53% of the high schools call for an improvement of less than 10 percentage points in both overall Regents exam pass rates and graduation rates.

*Henry Street School and Juan Morel Campos Secondary School are grades 6-12 and cover both middle and high school grades.

Families for Excellent Schools harnesses the power of families to advance policy and political changes that create and sustain excellent schools.

http://www.FamiliesForExcellentSchools.org
On Twitter at: @Fam4ExcSchools

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