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More A’s for Charters on NYC Progress Reports

Publication Date: 
Friday, September 23, 2011

Today, the NYC Department of Education (DOE) released its 2010-11 Progress Reports for public schools serving grades K-8, including charter schools. Overall, charter schools’ grades are improved from the previous year. More than a third of all charter schools, and half of charter middle schools, received an A grade.

As in previous years, the reports assign a letter grade to each school, based on student test scores, student progress, attendance, and “learning environment” survey resultsóall heavily weighted to account for differing student characteristics.

It is important to note that DOE assigns letter grades from a fixed distribution, meaning it pre-determines how many of each grade will be assigned.  Also remember that they are progress reports, with a heavy emphasis on how students at each school are progressing rather than their objective level of proficiency.

To its credit, DOE kept its methodology quite stable since last year, with a few helpful tweaks including the end of the arbitrary “safety net” that kept schools’ grades from dropping too far from one year to the next.

Much more information is available from Gotham Schools and DOE.

Among charter schools that received progress reports, grades were generally higher for schools affiliated with networks than independent charter schools:

Charter school performance was strongest among middle schools, although this may be related to charter middle schools’ affiliation with high-performing networks:

You can explore charter schools’ Progress Reports with the interactive tool below. Check boxes to change the filter, hover over a school’s bar to see more details, or click on a segment of a bar to see specific percentages. (Note that La Cima Charter School’s results were impacted by its (fully legal) decision to opt out of the DOE’s learning environment surveys and administer its own, which resulted in an F in that category. View La Cima’s own survey results.)