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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2019
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

14 Struggling Schools Make Demonstrable Improvement and Remain Under Superintendent Receivership

New ESSA-Aligned Indicators to be Used Going Forward

All 14 Receivership schools initially identified in July 2015 as part of the first cohort of Receivership schools made Demonstrable Improvement in the 2018-19 school year, Interim State Education Commissioner Beth Berlin announced today. These schools showed progress on performance indicators jointly selected by the New York State Education Department (NYSED or “the Department”) and the districts in which the schools are located. As a result, these schools will continue to operate under their Superintendent Receiver during the 2019-20 school year.

“The first cohort of Receivership schools have made Demonstrable Improvement and are continuing to work toward their goals and making strides for their students,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “However, we know that there is still much to be done to ensure that every child has equitable access to a high-quality education. District and school leaders, teachers, staff and parents can now use this information to focus their improvement efforts and better create school communities that lead to success, well-being and better academic outcomes for students.”

“Through increased support and a focus on improving teaching and learning for students, we are seeing incremental progress in these schools that have struggled for so long,” Interim Commissioner Berlin said. “The dedicated work by school and district leaders, in partnership with their communities and the Department, to implement improvement plans has been key in achieving Demonstrable Improvement. New York State remains committed to ensuring that all students succeed and thrive in school no matter who they are, where they live, where they go to school, or where they come from.”

In accordance with Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations, Interim Commissioner Berlin based the Demonstrable Improvement decisions for Cohort 1 schools 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 the New York State Education Department for the school. Examples of indicators include student achievement and growth on state measures; reduction in achievement gaps among specific groups of students; graduation rates; student attendance; suspension rates; student safety; and parent and family engagement.

The Demonstrable Improvement determinations for Cohort 1 schools were made based upon indicators selected prior to U.S. Department of Education (USDE) approval of the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The Interim Commissioner determined that:

  • 14 Cohort 1 schools made Demonstrable Improvement. These schools are in the Buffalo, Hempstead, NYC, Rochester, Syracuse, Troy, and Yonkers school districts;
  • eight schools achieved a Demonstrable Improvement Index of at least 67 percent; and
  • six schools earned a Demonstrable Improvement Index of at least 40 percent and showed overall evidence of progress. 

After reviewing information provided by Superintendent Receivers, school principals, teachers, the chairperson of the Community Engagement Team and reports of Department staff school visitations, the Interim Commissioner determined that all Cohort 1 Struggling Schools made Demonstrable Improvement.

For those schools that were designated as making Demonstrable Improvement, but did not achieve a Demonstrable Improvement Index of at least 67 percent, the Interim Commissioner directed districts to immediately review the performance of these schools, identify the reasons they did not achieve at least two-thirds of their measures and take additional steps to intensively monitor and support these schools during the 2019-20 school year.

The 14 Cohort 1 Struggling Schools that have made Demonstrable Improvement in 2018-19 will continue to operate under the authority of their Superintendent Receivers and will continue to implement their approved turnaround plans.

14 Cohort 1 Struggling Schools that have made Demonstrable Improvement in 2018-19
District School

Buffalo City School District

Harvey Austin School #97

Buffalo City School District

Marva J Daniel Futures Preparatory School

Hempstead Union Free School District

Alverta B Gray Schultz Middle School

Hempstead Union Free School District

Hempstead High School

New York City Geographic District # 8

Herbert H. Lehman High School

New York City Geographic District # 8

Longwood Preparatory Academy

New York City Geographic District #10

PS 85 Great Expectations

Rochester City School District

East Lower School

Rochester City School District

East Upper High School

Rochester City School District

James Monroe High School

Rochester City School District

Northeast College Preparatory High School

Syracuse City School District

Lincoln Middle School

Troy City School District

PS 2

Yonkers City School District

Cross Hill Academy

Background on Receivership Schools

Schools placed into Receivership were first identified in July 2015 as either Struggling or Persistently Struggling Schools. Persistently Struggling Schools were schools that had been identified as Priority status for the previous three years and were among the state’s lowest performing schools for the previous ten years. Struggling Schools had been in Priority status during the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.

A total of 144 schools were initially identified as Persistently Struggling or Struggling, with one school added subsequently due to a school splitting into a middle and a high school. These schools, in total, are considered the first cohort of Receivership Schools. Of these, 74 were previously removed from Receivership because of academic improvement, 35 were removed because they were not re-identified as a Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools in January 2019, and 22 have either closed or are closing.

Beginning in July 2015, the Commissioner 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. 

ESSA-Aligned Indicators Going Forward

In January 2019, NYSED identified a new cohort of 26 Receivership Schools, based upon new ESSA designations required by the USDE. Cohort 2 Receivership schools were in Priority status during the 2017-18 school year and were also identified as CSI schools in January 2019. This cohort of schools was placed into Superintendent Receivership.

During the 2018-19 school year, the Department received approval from the USDE to implement its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. This plan included several new accountability indicators to align ESSA indicators with the Demonstrable Improvement (DI) process for Receivership Schools. Moving forward, determinations will be made for all Receivership schools using ESSA-aligned indicators that were selected by the Superintendent Receiver and approved by NYSED.

The ESSA-aligned indicators are also in accordance with the law and could include student achievement and growth on state measures; reduction in achievement gaps among specific groups of students; graduation rates; student attendance; suspension rates; student safety; and parent and family engagement.

The Department also computed a 2018-19 school year DI Index for Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 schools based on the ESSA-aligned indicators. These DI Indices were provided to Districts for informational purposes only. No DI determinations were made for 2018-19 based on these ESSA-aligned Indices. The 2018-19 school year results for these schools will be published via the Receivership Dashboard on the Department’s Public Data website.

For Cohort 2 schools, the new ESSA-aligned indicators will be used to make DI determinations beginning with the 2020-21 school year results. Cohort 1 schools were also involved in selecting a new set of ESSA-aligned indicators that will be used to make DI determinations beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

Additional Information

A complete list of Receivership schools, Demonstrable Improvement Indicators and more information on the Receivership program are all available on NYSED’s website.  

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.

ESSA is Equity

Fundamentally, ESSA is about creating a set of interlocking strategies to promote educational equity by providing support to districts and schools as they work to ensure that every student succeeds. New York State is committed to ensuring that all students succeed and thrive in school no matter who they are, where they live, where they go to school, or where they come from.

ESSA strategies to foster equity include to: address disparities in training for teachers to help them be effective in the classroom; provide students more access to rigorous high school coursework; make schools equally welcoming environments for all students; increase fiscal transparency in school building spending; and use multiple measures to allow students to demonstrate proficiency in state learning standards.

The ESSA plan expands measures for school support and accountability and student success and requires school-level improvement plans for the lowest performing schools overall as well as schools with the lowest performance for certain student populations. ESSA also provides states and LEAs with funding to provide additional support to certain groups of students as well as to schools that have been identified for additional support. The plan also includes strategies for supporting the professional growth of educators and ensuring that all students receive a culturally responsive education that supports their academic and social-emotional development.