2013-14 School Quality Reports

The NYC DOE released its first School Quality Report from the 2013-14 school year. The report no longer includes an overall grade for each school, but instead presents multiple ratings on different aspects within 5 categories for charter schools: Student Progress, Student Performance, School Environment, Closing the Achievement Gap, and College and Career Readiness.

Schools receive one of four ratings within each category: Exceeding Target, Meeting Target, Approaching Target, and Not Meeting Target. These targets are based on the historical performance of peer schools, as well as all schools within the city.

As in the past, peer schools are determined based on similar student characteristics across all demographics and within the same school type (elementary, K-8, middle or high school). Each school has anywhere from 30 to 40 peer schools, and about 22% of charter peer schools are schools that have full or partial gifted and talented or selective enrollment admissions.

While the majority of charter and district schools met or exceeded their specific targets in each category, nonetheless there were some key differences:

  • The percentage of charter schools that exceeded their targets was significantly higher than the district in all five categories, with the largest differences within achievement (30% vs 19%), followed by environment (28% vs 19%) and progress (27% vs 19%).
  • Charter schools were nearly two times more likely to receive an “Exceeding Target” rating in all applicable categories than district schools (8.3% vs 4.2%).
  • Over half of all charters (54.5%) received at least one “Exceeding Target” in one of the major categories compared to only 42.1% of district schools.
  • On the other hand, 21.5% of charters received at least one “Not meeting target” in a category compared to 13.8% of district schools. There is also a disparity in college-readiness rates; how much is due to differences in demographics is unknown. However, these do suggest a large range in quality within the charter school sector, and further, that there are still a lot of improvements to be made.

Other observations:

  • The highest percentage of schools meeting or exceeding targets is in Moving Students with Disabilities to Less Restrictive Environments; 92.5% of charters exceeded or met targets compared to 58.4% of district schools. Charters are more likely to move their students with disabilities to a less restrictive setting by more than one standard deviation above their peer schools.
  • Charters are nearly four times (3.6) more likely to be one or more standard deviations above the citywide average in Early Grade Progress in Math than the district and two times (2.1) more likely in ELA.

  • The lowest-performing students, identified as scoring in the lowest third of students within the school in each grade on state tests, have not fared as well in ELA growth. Only 43.8% of charters met or exceeded Median Adjusted Growth Percentile targets for ELA within this group of students, compared to 61.5% of the district. The Median Adjusted Growth Percentile compares students within a school to similar students in the City who started at the same level of proficiency in the previous year. As with other categories, there seems to be a difference between network and independent charter schools; 52.2% of network charters and 37.9% of independent charter schools met or exceeded targets in the category.

The following 10 charters received an “Exceeding Target” in each applicable category:

-Bronx Charter School for Better Learning
-Democracy Prep Charter School
-Grand Concourse Charter School
-Hellenic Classical Charter School
-KIPP Washington Heights Middle School

-Leadership Preparatory Ocean Hill Charter School

-Success Academy Charter School – Bronx 1
-Success Academy Charter School – Bronx 2
-Success Academy Charter School – Harlem 4
-Success Academy Charter School – Harlem 5

Notes: All analysis excludes D75 and transfer high schools.