Small schools graduate students w/ disproportional no. of lower grade diplomas – that will be ruled out next year.
By YOAV GONEN
November 19, 2007 -- New, smaller high schools graduated 20 percent more students than the citywide average last year, but a report charges that a majority of the grads earned low-standard diplomas that are headed the way of the dinosaur.
A comparison found that 10 New Century High Schools, managed by the reform group New Visions for Public Schools, graduated 78.2 percent of their students in 2006 while 10 similar public high schools graduated 60.6 percent of theirs.
But the D.C.-based Policy Studies Associates' report notes that more than half of New Century's grads earned local diplomas, which require a score of 55, rather than 65, on five Regents exams - and which the state is scrapping starting next year. Only about 30 percent of the traditional-
New Century supporters acknowledge the need to prepare more students to graduate with Regents diplomas, but they note that their schools are saving kids who would otherwise drop out.
Indeed, the report says 17 percent of the traditional schools' Class of 2006 left without graduating, compared to just 3 percent at New Century schools.
Eighty-three New Century High Schools have opened in the city since 2002, many of them on the campuses of large high schools dismantled after years of abysmal graduation rates.