On Report Cards for N Y City Schools
Invisible Line Between 'A' and 'F'
This from Michael Winerip at the New York Times:
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Public School 30 and Public School 179 are about as alike as two schools can be. They are two blocks apart in the South Bronx. Both are 98 percent black and Latino. At P.S. 30, 97 percent of the children qualify for subsidized lunches; at P.S. 179, 93 percent.During city quality reviews - when Education Department officials make on-site inspections - both scored "proficient." The two have received identical grades for "school environment," a rating that includes attendance and a survey of parents', teachers' and students' opinions of a school.On the state math test, P.S. 30 did better in 2011, with 41 percent of students scoring proficient - a 3 or 4 - versus 29 percent for P.S. 179.But on the state English test, P.S. 179 did better, with 36 percent of its students scoring proficient compared with 32 percent for P.S. 30.And yet, when the department calculated the most recent progress report grades, P.S. 30 received an A.And P.S. 179 received an F.Is P.S. 30 among the best schools in the city and P.S. 179 among the worst? Very hard to know. How much can the city's report cards be trusted? Also very hard to know...