Thursday, September 29, 2011

Poking around the NYC 2011 Progress Reports: It's All About the Math

I thought I'd reprise a quick review I did last year of the progress report grades of a few prominent and/or relevant NYC charters (2010 > 2011):
  • Democracy Prep: A > A
  • Harlem Children's Zone/Promise Academy Charter School: B > C
  • Harlem Children's Zone/Promise Academy II: C > B
  • Harlem Success Academy 1 Charter School: A > A
  • KIPP AMP: C > B
  • KIPP Infinity: A > A
  • KIPP S.T.A.R.: B > B
  • KIPP Academy: A > A
  • Achievement First Crown Heights: C > A
  • Achievement First East NY: C > A
  • Achievement First Endeavor: C > A
  • Achievement First Bushwick: B > A
After leafing through these, the most striking thing is how unexceptional the schools' English scores are.  I'd argue that the single most important score in these reports, if you had to pick, would be growth in English, since reading is fundamental to other learning.  Only the schools in bold above exceeded the average test score growth in English among their group of 40 demographically similar charter and district schools.  That is, the non-bolded majority above in that list of high-profile charters had below average growth in English.  Pretty remarkable, really.

A particular stat that jumped out was the pass rate for specific classes at Democracy Prep (the original).  This is a new experimental stat not included in the school grade.  DP's pass rate in English was 63% and in science just 60%.  This is about 20% under their peer average.  Fortunately we don't have them to kick around anymore in RI.

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