The remediation rate was nearly 80 percent for graduates of New York City public high schools who enrolled in community college last year.
The remediation rate was nearly 80 percent for graduates of New York City public high schools who enrolled in community college last year.
KIPP middle schoolers learn significantly more than comparison students, concludes a report by Mathematica Policy Research on 43 schools in 13 states plus the District of Columbia. Three years after enrollment, the average KIPP student gained an extra 11 months in math, moving from the 44th to the 58th percentile, and eight months in reading, moving from the 46th to the 55th percentile. Science gains equalled an extra 14 months and social studies an extra 11 months.
In 13 schools, students in the control group had applied to KIPP, but lost the charter lottery. If there was no lottery, the study used “matched” students of similar achievement and demographics in nearby schools.
For KIPP students in the lottery sample, researchers administered the TerraNova test—a nationally norm-referenced test—which students had not prepared for, and which carried no consequences for students or schools. The impacts shown in the TerraNova test were consistent with those shown in state tests.
KIPP students resembles other students in their neighborhoods, but with lower reading and math achievement than their elementary school classmates, the study found. Ninety-six percent are black or Hispanic and 83 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. However, KIPP entrants are less likely to have received special education services or to have limited English proficiency. (Since many more KIPP students are black, it makes sense that fewer speak English as a second language.)
Critics charge KIPP “counsels out” low achievers to inflate scores, notes Education Week. To account for attrition, the study included all students who started KIPP, even if they left for another school.
For example, a student could leave KIPP for another school in 6th grade, but their performance at the new school is counted towards the academic achievement of KIPP students overall regardless. The report also found that KIPP schools have similar attrition rates as traditional district schools (37 percent over three years for both sets of students).
KIPP students spend much more time in school than traditional public school students: nine hours per day, for 192 days each year, in KIPP, compared to 6.6 hours per day, for 180 days. In addition, KIPP students spend an extra 35 to 53 minutes on homework each night.
However, a longer school day didn’t raise test scores, possibly because the extra time was spent on non-academic activities, researchers found. KIPP schools that spent more time on core academic subjects and enforced a comprehensive discipline policy had the strongest results.
In schools where school-wide behavior standards and discipline policies are consistently communicated and enforced, the school rewards students for positive behavior, and the school punishes students who violate the rules, reading and math scores went up, researchers found.
While KIPP students are more satisfied with their school, the study did not find an increase in “attitudes associated with success,” such as persistence and self-control. Students were more likely to admit to losing their temper, arguing with or lying to their parents, or giving their teachers a hard time. Researchers weren’t sure if they were more ornery or more honest about it. Students may have raised their standards about acceptable behavior, said Mathematica researcher Brian Gill.
In comparing higher-performing to lower-performing KIPP schools, researchers found “class size, teacher experience and professional development opportunities” were not associated with higher scores, adds Jay Mathews in the Washington Post.
The latest CREDO study of charter school effectiveness found New York City charter students gain an extra five months in math — seven months in Harlem — and one month in reading, compared to similar students in traditional public schools. Charters enroll many more blacks. One in three Harlem kindergartners attends a charter school.
Test prep for four-year-olds keeps escalating in Manhattan, reports the New York Times. It’s a game played by well-to-do parents eager to get their kids into public gifted programs or into selective private schools.
The New York City Education Department changed part of its admissions exam for its gifted and talented programs last year, in part to minimize the benefits of test prep. A test prep company “posted the news with links to guides and practice tests for the new assessment,” reports the Times.
The day Pearson announced changes in the exam used by many private schools, another company explained the changes in its blog: “word reasoning and picture comprehension were out, bug search and animal coding were in.”
Schools worry that intensive test prep has made the admissions test invalid.
Nearly 5,000 children qualified for gifted slots in the city’s public kindergartens this year, double the number five years ago.
Natalie Viderman, 4, spent an hour and a half each week for six months at Bright Kids NYC, a tutoring company, working on skills like spatial visualization and serial reasoning, which are part of the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, or NNAT 2, the new gifted and talented test. She and her mother, Victoria Preys, also worked every night on general learning, test prep and workbooks, some provided by Bright Kids.
Natalie’s brother, a Bright Kids graduate, tested into a gifted program. Natalie just missed the cut-off for a gifted school that uses an IQ test but hasn’t heard if she’s qualified for a gifted program that uses the NNAT 2.
New York City students visited a simulated shooting game facility on a school day, reports NBC. Bronx High School of Visual Arts students, led by a teacher, had a chance to see a new shooting game for children called iCombat at Indoor Extreme Sports.
iCombat outfits children like SWAT officers and lets them pretend to have shootouts in an indoor fake village . . . The level of the realism in the game has sparked concerns in the law enforcement community and among child psychologists.
Students were members of a school club, said district officials. “A mistake was clearly made,” Chancellor Dennis Walcott told NBC.
“Gifted and talented” classes are mostly white and Asian, even at predominantly black and Hispanic schools, reports the New York Times. At P.S. 163 on the Upper West Side, black and Hispanic students make up two-thirds of the student body but only one third of gifted students.
Once schools could set their own criteria for admissions to gifted classes, but since 2008 only students who test very well can qualify. In low-income neighborhoods, schools don’t offer gifted classes because not enough kids ace the test.
(Critics) contend that gifted admissions standards favor middle-class children, many of them white or Asian, over black and Hispanic children who might have equal promise, and that the programs create castes within schools, one offered an education that is enriched and accelerated, the other getting a bare-bones version of the material. Because they are often embedded within larger schools, the programs bolster a false vision of diversity, these critics say, while reinforcing the negative stereotypes of class and race.
Students in gifted classes have a much easier time qualifying for the city’s selective middle and high schools. Only 15 percent of seats at specialized high schools go to blacks or Hispanic students, who make up 70 percent of enrollment.
Sara K. Bloch’s triplets go to P.S. 163. Leon is in a gifted class, Jason in general education and Felix in “an integrated co-teaching class, which mixes special education students with general education children like Felix.”
“To be completely honest, we feel that this class is probably similar to a regular fifth-grade class,” she said on the day she visited Leon in Ms. Dillon’s class. “Math is the same; all three — they have the same book.”
But Leon does seem to be pushed harder, Ms. Bloch said. He is asked to think of things in complex ways, not just to memorize dates of the American Revolution or names like John Adams, for instance, but also to understand relationships between events and people, or to explain possible motives or forces behind certain events, like the Boston Tea Party. She also said that the relationship between the parents and the teachers was more intense at the gifted level, with an expectation of parent involvement and connectedness.
A fifth-grade teacher at the school tells the Times she’d never let her own kids take general education classes at P.S. 163. There are too many kids from “the projects.”
New York City public schools have a “secret weapon to rub out incompetent teachers — an eraser,” reports the New York Post. If a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” agrees to quit or retire, all ratings will be changed to “satisfactory,” helping the teacher find a job in a new district.
New York City schools have reopened, but nothing is normal in hard-hit neighborhoods, writes Robert Pondiscio on Core Knowledge Blog. Citywide, 79 schools in 44 buildings have been relocated.
P.S. 333, the Goldie Maple Academy, is less than two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean in Queens’ Rockaway Peninsula. A Core Knowledge school, it started the year with 578 students. Fewer than 30 children showed up for the first scheduled day of class since hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhood and the school building. Even fewer made the 90-minute bus ride to a Long Island City intermediate school, which will house P.S. 333 students for a week.
P.S. 333’s principal, Angela Logan, was not surprised. She can’t even estimate how many of her school’s families have left the neighborhood, for now or for good. “When you look around, you don’t see people outside. There’s no reason to come outside. The stores are all gone. There was a lot of looting and there’s a curfew in place,” she says.
Logan and her teachers are trying to reach parents who find out how many students plan on coming to the relocation site, which will change next week.
The storm surge flooded their own school’s basement, destroying its boiler. Water damaged the first floor. Power may not be restored for weeks. It’s one of 11 schools out of commission in the Rockaways.
P.S. 333, which serves low-income black and Hispanic students, was one of ten New York City schools that tested the Core Knowledge Language Arts program, posting such good results that the program is being used in school statewide.
(Core Knowledge) materials are still in the school in undamaged classrooms in the upper floors, but Logan and her staff are not able or even allowed to retrieve them. “The Department of Ed said we’ll just purchase you new materials. I guess for them that’s just easier,” she fumed. “They have no idea we’re a Core Knowledge school. I don’t need Dr. Seuss books. I need the Romans and Greek books.”
. . . With the loss of instructional time, the lack of continuity, and the disruption wrought by Sandy, Logan fears it will be a lost school year for many of her children, most of whom can ill afford it.
Eleven school buildings are closed in the Rockaways alone.
Gotham Schools reports on the challenge of getting displaced students to their new school sites. To start with, there aren’t enough buses. Some schools were used as shelters for storm victims, who’ve been moved out to make room for students.
The New York City Marathon was cancelled, but runners were on the move to help storm victims, reports AP.
Hundreds of runners wearing marathon shirts and backpacks full of supplies took the ferry to hard-hit Staten Island and ran to stricken neighborhoods to help.
. . . Instead of running his first marathon, Akil Defour of Brooklyn climbed 20 flights of stairs in a building without power or heat in Far Rockaway, Queens, to deliver water, blankets and peanut butter sandwiches.
“I knew I wanted to volunteer after they canceled the marathon,” said Defour, 30, who put in five hours of work with his running team. “We decided it would be easier for us athletes to go up and down the buildings.”
On Staten Island, the runners headed for distribution sites, but some handed out supplies along the way.
Near the water, there were no traffic lights and far more sirens. Houses looked like they had been sacked. Furniture was in front yards, washing machines, TVs.
But one man came out of his home and asked if the runners had flashlights, and they did. At another house, a family wearing face masks asked for batteries and sweatshirts. They said, “God bless you.” The man said, “Let me take your picture.”
Admission to New York City’s elite high schools is by test score only. Asian-Americans, who make up 14 percent of public school students, qualify for a majority of seats, reports the New York Times in Asians’ Success in High School Admissions Tests Seen as Issue by Some..
Civil rights groups complain low-income families can’t afford test prep. The city started free test prep programs for blacks and Hispanics, but was forced to open them to all students. Now 43 percent of participants come from Asian families.
Ting Shi, whose immigrant parents work long hours in a laundromat, used free test prep to qualify for Stuyvesant, the most elite high school. It’s 72 percent Asian, only 4 percent black and Hispanic.
In Asia, tests are “viewed not so much as measures of intelligence, but of industriousness,” students tell the Times.
Most of our parents don’t believe in ‘gifted,’ ” said Riyan Iqbal, 15, the son of Bangladeshi immigrants, as he and his friends — of Bengali, Korean and Indian descent — meandered toward the subway from the Bronx High School of Science one recent afternoon. “It’s all about hard work.”
No student, they said, was off the hook. Riyan, the son of a taxi driver and a Duane Reade cashier, and his schoolmates said their parents routinely plied them with motivational tales about the trials they endured back home, walking to school barefoot, struggling with hunger, being set back by floods and political unrest. “You try to make up for their hardships,” Riyan said.
Story ends with Emmie Cheng, a Cambodian emigre, who runs a shoe importing company. She spent $2,000 this year on tutoring programs and prep classes for her daughter Kassidi.
Cheng’s “father and four brothers died of starvation during Cambodia’s civil war.” In the U.S., her mother worked in a garment factory. “This is the easy part,” Cheng said.
Texas students who completed even a single college class in high school were significantly more likely to attend college and eventually graduate, compared to similar students not in dual enrollment programs, reports a Jobs for the Future study.
New York City’s P-Tech is drawing students willing to spend six years in high school to earn a diploma and an associate degree in computer information systems or engineering technology. IBM worked with city colleges to develop the program.