Saturday, November 12, 2011
NY State Says NYC Schools Offer Dismal Performance
Friday, November 11 2011, 2:35 AM
David Handschuh/New York Daily NewsState Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said the state’s new list of troubled schools offers more proof of the city school system’s dismal performance.
Over a third of the city’s public schools are failing their students, according to new state standards that paint a much bleaker picture than the one offered by the city.
The New York State Education Department added some 350 city schools on Thursday to its annual bulletin of “schools in need of improvement” — but 180 of those schools earned A’s or B’s on their latest progress reports from the city.
State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said the state’s new list of troubled schools offers more proof of the city school system’s dismal performance.
“This is just further evidence – as if we needed any – that we must move forward to reform our schools and change what is happening in our classrooms,” said Tisch, adding: “If student performance doesn’t improve, schools must be held accountable.”
Schools that turn up on the state’s hit list may be forced to offer extra tutoring and allow students to transfer out. If they don’t improve, they may eventually be shut down.
This year the state flagged 640 of about 1,700 city schools for poor graduation rates and low scores on state exams, up from 321 last year.
City Department of Education officials said that 80% of the increase was due to a higher bar for graduation rates and student performance on state exams.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the state’s list also fails to account for the progress of once-troubled schools that are now heading in the right direction.
“We support strong accountability measures, but those that look at absolute proficiency alone penalize schools that are making progress,” said Walcott.
The new standards the state uses to identify struggling schools are mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The state is applying for an exemption from the federal standards, which measures student proficiency, not progress.
City schools have taken a beating from state education officials this week. Regents Chancellor Tisch slammed failing city high schools as “warehouses” for unlucky students at a meeting with the editorial board of the Daily News on Tuesday.
Mayor Bloomberg responded to Tisch’s comments the next day at a press conference, blasting the state’s highest ranking education official as “misinformed.”firstname.lastname@example.org