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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 5, 2016
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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State Education Department Determines Nine Out of 10 Persistently Struggling Schools Made Demonstrable Improvement in 2015-16

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia today announced that nine  out of 10 Persistently Struggling Schools in New York state made demonstrable improvement during the 2015-16 school year, showing progress on performance indicators that the State Education Department and the districts where the schools are located jointly selected.

“I know from personal experience how hard administrators, teachers and their partners in the community must work to overcome a pattern of years of severe educational underperformance,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “We all need to continue to support these efforts, so that students in these schools experience much higher rates of academic success.”

“These schools that made demonstrable improvement are laying the foundation for accelerated improvement in student results in future years,” Commissioner Elia said. “There is much more to be done but we are pleased with the turnaround that has started and, with continued support, can further progress in these schools.”

In accordance with Section 211-f of the Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations §100.19, Commissioner Elia based the demonstrable improvement decisions primarily upon the degree to which schools achieved their progress targets. Each school’s Demonstrable Improvement Plan includes a minimum of ten indicators, which were submitted by the superintendent receiver and approved by the Commissioner or selected by SED for the school.  In accordance with the law, indicators could include: student achievement and growth on state measures; reduction in achievement gaps among specific groups of students; graduation rates; student attendance; suspension rates; measures of school safety; and parent, family and teacher engagement.

Earlier this month, Commissioner Elia informed superintendent receivers, school  principals, local collective bargaining unit leaders representing the school staff and the chairperson of the Community Engagement Team of the preliminary demonstrable improvement determination to allow them the opportunity to comment. 

As a result of this process, Commissioner Elia determined that eight schools achieved a Demonstrable Improvement Index between 58 percent and 100 percent, the level needed to make demonstrable improvement for the 2015-16 school year. Two schools – East Upper High School in Rochester and Junior High School 162 Lola Rodriguez De Tio in New York City – received a Demonstrable Improvement Index of less than 40 percent. 

After reviewing the demonstrable improvement data for East Upper High School, Commissioner Elia determined that the University of Rochester serving as the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) beginning in the 2015-2016 school year constituted an extenuating circumstance that warranted permitting the school to continue under the EPO’s operation with the EPO retaining the vested powers of a receiver. The Commissioner determined that JHS 162 did not make demonstrable improvement for the 2015-16 school year. The full Iist of Persistently Struggling Schools and their demonstrable improvement determinations is below:

 

Persistently Struggling Schools Demonstrable Improvement Status

SCHOOL

DISTRICT

MADE DEMONSTRABLE IMPROVEMENT

MARVA J DANIEL FUTURES PREP SCHOOL

BUFFALO CITY SD

YES

WEST HERTEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

BUFFALO CITY SD

YES

HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL

HEMPSTEAD UFSD

YES

JHS 162 LOLA RODRIGUEZ DE TIO

NYC GEOG DIST # 7 - BRONX

NO

IS 117 JOSEPH H WADE

NYC GEOG DIST # 9 - BRONX

YES

JHS 22 JORDAN L MOTT

NYC GEOG DIST # 9 - BRONX

YES

EAST LOWER SCHOOL

ROCHESTER CITY SD

YES

EAST UPPER HIGH SCHOOL

ROCHESTER CITY SD

YES*

JAMES MONROE HIGH SCHOOL

ROCHESTER CITY SD

YES

SCHOOL 9-DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

ROCHESTER CITY SD

YES

*made demonstrable improvement due to extenuating circumstances.

 

The state first identified Persistently Struggling Schools in July 2015. As defined by law and regulation, Persistently Struggling Schools were Priority Schools for the previous three years and among the state’s lowest performing schools for the previous ten years.  In July 2015, the Commissioner also identified Struggling Schools, which are schools that were in Priority status during the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Persistently Struggling and Struggling schools are also known as Receivership Schools.

Receivership Schools are required annually to make demonstrable improvement on indicators that were jointly selected by the district and SED. Additionally, these schools are required to set up a Community Engagement Team comprised of community stakeholders with direct ties to the school, such as the school principal, parents, teachers, other school staff and students attending the school.  The Community Engagement Team is charged with developing recommendations for improvement of the school and for soliciting input regarding their recommendations through public engagement.

Beginning in July 2015, the state placed Persistently Struggling and Struggling Schools under the authority of superintendent receivers.  The superintendents were provided with enhanced powers and responsibilities of a school receiver to support dramatic changes to increase student achievement.  East Upper High School will have the authority of a superintendent receiver for an additional year.

In Persistently Struggling Schools, the superintendent receivers were given one year to make demonstrable improvement in student performance.  If a school fails to make demonstrable improvement after one year, the Commissioner is required to direct the district to appoint an independent receiver for the school.  In Struggling Schools, demonstrable improvement determinations will first be made based on 2016-17 school year results.

Schools that have made demonstrable improvement will continue to operate under the authority of their superintendent receivers and will continue to implement their approved turnaround plans.  At the end of the 2016-17 school year, Commissioner Elia will again make a determination as to whether they have made demonstrable improvement.

For a school that has not made demonstrable improvement, the school district has 60 days to appoint an independent receiver and have that appointment approved by Commissioner Elia or the Commissioner will appoint the independent receiver if that timeline is not met by the district.  Once an independent receiver is appointed and enters into a contract with the Commissioner, the independent receiver will assume full managerial and operational authority for the school consistent with Education Law to develop and implement a school intervention plan.

For more details on Receivership Schools, please visit:

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/oisr/Receivership.html 

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/de/SchoolReceivership.html

To view how a school performed on each of the Demonstrable Improvement indicators, please go to that school’s information on the Department’s Public Data website .

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Reporters and education writers may contact the Office of Communications by phone at:

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