The New York Department of Education released the progress report for all of NYC’s public schools on Nov. 26, and parents hoping their children will go on to college may be seriously disappointed.
For the first time, the report measured the number of students in each high school who take and achieve a passing grade in advanced courses, graduate prepared for college and enroll in a college or any other post-secondary program. Only 29 percent of local students graduate “college ready,” according to the DOE’s figures.
Summarizing high schools’ performance, NYC’s Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said in a statement: “Our high schools play an important role in student outcomes beyond K-12. By measuring how well our schools prepare students for college and careers, the Progress Reports shine a light on the importance of increased rigor as a bridge to future success.”
The progress reports also list the 10 worst schools, but schools will have a chance to improve in the time leading up graduation. If no improvements are made, then the school is at risk of closing. Since 2010, 13 public high schools have closed, making room for the DOE to open new, smaller schools.
Samuel J. Tilden High School, located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, closed in 2010. Since then, three smaller schools have moved into the building, including It Takes a Village Academy.
The school received a 98.7 in a 100-point system, giving them the highest A. But they still seemed to lag in college readiness, having only 11.4 percent of their students ready for college by one measure.
The principal of this school, Marina Vinitskaya, thought that the grades did not completely reflect her students’ performance. Almost half of her students are not fluent in English during their freshman year, but nonetheless they have achieved an 85.9 graduation rate.
But is it enough for students to merely graduate?
By that measure, local students are doing better than ever: In 2011, more than 65 percent of New York high school students graduated. Of that group, 61 percent entered high school in 2007, completing high school in the given four years.
The graduation rate for Black students continued to be on an upswing, rising to 50.6 percent in 2011.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg congratulated school aides for the increase in NY graduation rates even after the graduation standards were changed.
In 2011, the local diploma was completely phased out, leaving only a Regents diploma, or a Regents diploma with an advanced designation.
About 1.7 million U.S. college students enter college and have to take remedial classes in reading, English and mathematics. These classes typically cost students the same amount as a regular class, but they tend to take up time without fulfilling degree requirements.
Many student opt to just go into the military after high school, but in 2011, the Education Trust estimated that nearly one fourth of students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam.
Education activists state that too many of the city’s high school students are failing.
Check your high school’s progress report at www.schools.nyc.gov