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November 22, 2016
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Releases Progress Reports for Struggling Schools

Most Schools Show Progress In Meeting 2016-17
Demonstrable Improvement Goals

The State Education Department today released 2015-16 progress reports for the state’s 62 Struggling Schools, showing each school’s progress on performance indicators that were jointly selected by the State Education Department and the superintendents of the districts where the schools are located. These schools will receive Demonstrable Improvement determinations next year based on 2016-17 school year performance that will be used by the Commissioner of Education to decide whether independent receivers are appointed to manage these schools.  The progress reports provide the schools and their respective districts with information to assist them in meeting their Demonstrable Improvement indicator progress targets in 2017. 

“I am encouraged that so many schools are showing signs of progress,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “Their improvement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the teachers and administrators, as well as the determination of the students and their families. But we know there is still much work to be done at every one of these schools – and the State Education Department will continue to help support them in their turnaround efforts.”

“Virtually every school on the Struggling Schools list demonstrated progress on the indicators for which they committed to improve performance,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “But we can’t let up now. The Regents, the Education Department and I will continue our efforts to help get all of these schools – and all of their students – on a path toward success.”

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.

 On average, these schools met 68 percent of their indicators, with 56 of the 62 meeting at least half of their indicators, and 38 meeting two-thirds or more of their indicators. 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.

Persistently Struggling Schools beginning with 2015-16 school year results and Struggling Schools beginning with 2016-17 school year results are required annually to make demonstrable improvement on indicators that were jointly selected by the district and SED. Additionally, all Receivership Schools are required to establish 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 to support dramatic changes to increase student achievement.  

For more details on Receivership Schools, please visit:

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. To view each school’s 2016-17 Demonstrable Improvement indicators and progress targets, please visit: