Happening Today: Education Week Leadership Symposium. Learn more and register.
Education Report Roundup

Small High Schools

By Catherine Gewertz — October 23, 2007 | Corrected: February 22, 2019 1 min read

Corrected: The percentages originally reported were incorrectly identified as those of all students in the schools referenced, instead of those graduating from those schools.

A study of the New Century High Schools in New York City has found that their students dropped out less often and graduated on time at much higher rates than did their peers citywide. But the New Century students earned standard diplomas less often than did students from other high schools.

The report evaluates the New Century High Schools Initiative, which has created 88 small public high schools in New York City since 2001, led by the nonprofit New Visions for Public Schools. Policy Studies Associates, a Washington-based research group, has produced three annual evaluations of the initiative, which serves a disproportionately large enrollment of high-poverty, low-achieving students.

The report found that New Century students had a graduation rate of 78 percent in 2006, 20 percentage points higher than students on average citywide, according to the report. The schools’ four-year dropout rate was 3 percent, compared with 17 percent in high schools with comparable student populations. More than two-thirds of the students in demographically similar New York City high schools earned standard or advanced diplomas in 2006, however, compared with 46 percent of graduates from New Century high schools.

A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2007 edition of Education Week