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School Grades Are In

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 02:26 PM

Your school’s 2012 Progress Report grade is now available on its SchoolBook page.

The new grades have been added to the pages for all elementary and middle schools that were assessed this year.

SchoolBook has a page for every public school in the city, including the charter schools. To find your school’s page, type in the name in the Find + Compare feature at the top right corner of every SchoolBook page.

Each school’s page is loaded with plenty of other state, city and school-level data. If you are interested, see our fuller explanation of our data tools.

Feel free to start a conversation on your school's page about its grade. And join the conversation already underway in response to our first report on the progress reports.

City officials highlighted the stability of this year’s reports, noting that 86 percent of schools did not change more than one grade since last year. But there were dramatic changes at several schools. And 217 schools received grades of D, F, or the third C in a row.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a WOR interview Wednesday that the progress reports are a snapshot of a school at a particular moment and are most useful as a tool to help struggling schools.

Last week Department of Education officials told three dozen elementary and middle schools that they were concerned about their performance, in essentially the first step of the school closing process.

"This is the third year after the state readjusted what we call their cut score, how you measure the grade itself, so now you see the schools leveling off and I think what we've been focusing on is making sure we start early on in engaging those schools," he said in reference to schools with persistently low scores.

The D.O.E. plans to begin “early engagement” conversations with the schools in order to assess what is happening at the schools, and what interventions may help them rebound. The list was selected based largely on their grades over the last several years.

As Pamela Wheaton of Inside Schools points out here , it's worthwhile to investigate the data behind the school grades, and pay attention to the learning environment surveys, also available on SchoolBook's individual school pages.

Below we have a chart of the charter school grades. Of this group, 14 received a worse grade this year than last year while almost twice as many charter schools, 27, received a better grade. With so many new charters, this is the first year receiving a progress report for 32 of them. Take a look.

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