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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Letter grades on Progress Reports could spell trouble for some schools

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted

DeWitt Clinton High School received its third straight F, while the New School for Leadership and the Arts earned its third consecutive A, on Progress Reports that the Department of Education released on Nov. 13. 

Other area elementary and middle schools receiving A grades included Kingsbridge (PS 7), the Multiple Intelligence School (PS 37) and the Robert J. Christen School (PS 81). 

High schools receiving top marks on the reports, which advocates tout as a way to improve accountability, included the Bronx High School of Science, Marble Hill High School and the High School of American Studies at Lehman College.

Last year, Clinton’s second consecutive F prompted the DOE to threaten to shut down the struggling school. Implications of the third failing mark were not immediately clear.

The Spuyten Duyvil School (PS 24) received a C in the overall category, but an F for school environment. 

The category, which comprises 15 percent of a school’s overall grade, is based on student attendance and satisfaction surveys among students, parents and teachers. 

Faculty discontent with PS 24’s administration apparently has led to low school environment scores for years.

Meanwhile, a D in the student progress category brought the AmPark Neighborhood School’s overall grade to a C. The DOE evaluates student progress based on student improvement in state math and English and language arts tests. 

The DOE said more public school students are prepared to enter college and the workforce upon graduating from high school than ever before, according to a new metric evaluating students. The DOE added that 49.7 percent of graduates from the class of 2012 are currently enrolled in two-year or four-year colleges, vocational programs or public service programs — an increase of 0.9 percent compared to the previous year.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement, “The most important job of our schools is ensuring students are on track to succeed in college and their careers. These results are further evidence that the hard work of our teachers and principals is paying off.”

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