Standards change, school grades don’t
By Sarina Trangle
Although more high schools across the city earned “A”s and “B”s on their annual Progress Reports this year, the majority of area schools received the same letter grade as last year.
The reports, released by the Department of Education Monday, show several schools adapted to more rigorous grading criteria, including Marble Hill High School for International Studies, which earned its second consecutive “A,” Bronx School of Law and Finance, which received another “B,” and IN-Tech Academy, MS/HS 368, which received a “C” again.
The David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, MS/HS 141, was the only school whose grade dropped. It barely missed the cutoff for the “A” grade it earned last year, and got a “B” this year.
Bronx Theatre High School and the Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy were the only two schools that received higher letter grades. Both John F. Kennedy Campus schools earned “B”s, up from last year’s “C”s.
Every fall, the DOE releases Progress Reports purported to measure high schools’ progress by comparing them to other similar schools. Scores are compiled by grading schools in three categories: student performance — based on graduation rates and the types of diplomas students receive, student progress — which measures credit accumulation and Regents scores, and school environment — which is compiled from surveys taken by parents, teachers and students.
This fall, the DOE began incorporating college and career readiness into the Progress Reports by tracking how many students pass Advanced Placement and other college preparatory courses and graduates’ enrollment in higher education programs.
Regardless of more rigorous graduation requirements implemented last June, BETA and Bronx Theatre saw their grades move toward the beginning of the alphabet.