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NCLB Outrages

11 New York City Schools Fail to Meet State Criteria

Ohanian Comment: Is it any surprise that schools open onlyl to students with limited English skills and a school working with 'high risk' students would not meet NCLB injunctions? And note: Most of these are small schools. And note: School chief Klein is a big supporter of NCLB.

By David M. Herszenhorn

Eleven more New York City high schools failed to meet minimum state performance targets in the last school year and face potential sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law, the New York State Education Department said yesterday. Six other schools in the state were similarly deemed in need of improvement.

The designations mean that students in the schools, including a Manhattan charter school, two schools for recent immigrants, in Manhattan and Queens, which are open only to students with limited English skills, and a Brooklyn school that has won wide acclaim for its work with students at serious risk of dropping out, now have the right to ask for a transfer to a better school.

Overall, the state now has 219 high schools designated as failing under the federal law, 108 of them in New York City.

Nine city high schools that previously failed to make adequate progress performed well enough in 2005-6 to return to good standing, state officials said. Statewide, an additional 20 schools returned to good standing. Of the 11 city schools newly identified as needing improvement, only one — Jane Addams High School in the Bronx — is a large school. The other 10 are the type of smaller schools that the Bloomberg administration has made the centerpiece of its efforts to improve graduation rates.

Although Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein is a strong supporter of the No Child Left Behind law, which requires schools to make progress in bringing all students up to proficiency, the city’s Education Department immediately questioned whether schools serving specialized populations like immigrants or potential dropouts were being held up to proper scrutiny.

“Where appropriate, we will appeal decisions about newly identified schools,” Mr. Klein’s spokesman, David Cantor, said in a statement yesterday. “Based on the data we’ve seen so far, the identification of several of these schools appears to be questionable.”

Mr. Cantor said that the city was pleased with the overall results, which showed fewer New York City high schools identified as needing improvement than last year, because eight long-failing schools were shut down.

Under the federal law, as enforced by New York State, yearly progress in high schools is measured in three categories — scores on the English composition and Math A Regents exams and graduation rates.

Schools that fail to make yearly progress in the same category for two consecutive years are designated as needing improvement. Parents must be notified of the school’s poor performance and then have a right to request that their children be transferred.

Each year in which a school continues to fail to make progress brings another set of requirements for improvement and ultimately can lead to closing the school.

— David M. Herszenhorn
New York Times
2006-09-13


INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES


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