Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

‘New Century’ Critique Draws Evaluator’s Response

December 04, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

My colleagues and I at Policy Studies Associates Inc. wish to respond to inaccuracies in David C. Bloomfield’s Nov. 14, 2007, letter to the editor regarding our evaluation of New York City’s New Century High Schools.

First, the percentage of Regents diplomas among New Century students and comparison students was about the same in the period studied. The difference arose because the New Century schools kept more students in school for four years than did comparison schools, thus achieving a lower dropout rate and a correspondingly higher rate of local diplomas.

Second, the data used to compute students’ high school progress are available to external researchers through the New York City Department of Education, so these trends can continue to be followed beyond this evaluation. As with most school systems, the education department also posts on its Web site graduation and dropout data for every high school.

Third, by measuring credit accumulation, Policy Studies Associates did not “game” the system; all high schools in New York City are working toward the same end of supporting students in earning academic credits and eventually diplomas. The report was candid about the distinctions between local diplomas and Regents diplomas, and between reducing dropout rates and providing a rigorous education.

Fourth, the percentages of English-language learners and students with disabilities were almost equivalent in New Century schools and in high schools citywide, averaging 2 percentage points less in New Century schools for each group.

And finally, our evaluation reported extensively on the characteristics of successful small high schools, which we summed up as personalized attention, supplementary supports for learning, and high quality in instructional systems. As we reported, the New Century schools have taken important steps in the right direction, although they haven’t yet arrived at their destination.

Elizabeth Reisner

Policy Studies Associates Inc.

Washington, D.C.

The writer is the principal investigator of the New Century High Schools evaluation.

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Stronger Together: Integrating Social and Emotional Supports in an Equity-Based MTSS
Decades of research have shown that when schools implement evidence-based social and emotional supports and programming, academic achievement increases. The impact of these supports – particularly for students of color, students from low-income communities, English
Content provided by Illuminate Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read