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Big Fix Schools Still Get Low Marks, But Show Some Improvements

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

New York City has released its annual school report cards, or “progress reports,” for the 2009-2010 school year. These A-F letter grades consider attendance, graduation rates, credit accumulation, and surveys by parents, teachers and students. Schools are compared to similar schools and to high schools across the city. The three high schools GothamSchools and WNYC are following in our Big Fix series all received low grades. But there were some signs of improvement.

Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School had the highest score of the three. Out of a possible 100 points, Chelsea got 55.8, which earned it an overall grade of C. This follows a C in 2008-09 and an F in 2007-08. This year, Chelsea got a D for its environment, an F for student performance and a B for student progress. The graduation rate had climbed above 50 percent and about 80 percent of freshmen were earning more than 10 credits, which keeps them on track.

William Grady Career and Technical Education High School and Christopher Columbus High School both received D’s. Grady had earned a C last year and a B in 2007-08. It got a D for school environment, a C for student performance and a D for student progress. Just over 51 percent are graduating in four years but just 49 percent of freshmen were earning more than 10 credits. The school's graduation rate rose, but a smaller number of freshman earned enough credits to move onto the next grade.

Columbus got a B for school environment, but received an overall grade of D because it got an F for student performance and an F for student progress. The four-year graduation rate was less than 47 percent and 57 percent of freshmen were earning 10-plus credits. Both of those represent improvements over 2008-09 when the school also earned a D. In 2007-08 the school earned a C. Columbus was nearly closed last year and getting a second D means the city is unlikely to reconsider closing it this time.

With reporting by Anna Phillips and Maura Walz at GothamSchools.

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