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A Closer Look at Student Performance in Upstate City Schools

Parents in central cities seeking good educations for their children face the disconcerting reality that relatively few city school children pass standardized tests required by New York State, suggesting that the schools are failing.  In Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Schenectady, less than 20% of students passed state required English Language Arts and Mathematics exams in 2016 […]

Education, Economic Status and Student Performance in New York School Districts

In 1966, James S. Coleman and associates wrote the report, “Equality of Educational Opportunity,” for the United States Department of Health Education and Welfare, as required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The report was commissioned to examine the causes of differences in educational outcomes experienced by minority group students, particularly African-American children compared […]

School Segregation is Increasing in New York’s Cities and Suburbs

Recent articles in the New York Times and The Nation have focused on efforts to resegregate schools in the South, by carving new predominantly white school districts out of larger county-wide school districts that are predominantly black and Hispanic.  The articles examined a recent federal court decision that permitted the creation of the Gardendale School District […]

More Regional Diversity but a Larger Racial/Ethnic Divide in New York Schools

This post examines changes in the ethnic and racial compositions of kindergarten through twelfth grade schools in New York State metropolitan areas over the past 25 years.  During that period, the student population, like the general population has become more diverse, with the percentage of students identified as white decreasing, while minority group members, particularly […]

New York’s Dysfunctional School Spending Patterns

For many years, government spending in New York State has far exceeded the national average. State and local governments in New York had the second highest per capita spending in the nation in 2013.[1] Local government spending contributes significantly to New York’s high spending levels. Local government spending in New York averages $9,800 per person […]

More on Race, Income and Student Achievement

A few months ago, I wrote about the link between economic disadvantage and poor student performance.  I looked at the performance of students on the State’s annual student assessment for grades 3 to 8, and found that the percentage of economically disadvantaged students in schools and school districts accounted for about three quarters of the […]

Should Teachers be Evaluated by Student Performance on Standardized Tests?

In January 2015, Governor Cuomo proposed changing the state’s teacher evaluation system to increase reliance on measures of student progress on statewide standardized tests, using a so called “Value Added Model.” In his 2015 State of the State address, he said: “Now 38% of high schools students are college ready. 38%. 98.7% of high school […]

Can Charter Schools break the Poverty-Poor Student Performance Link?

In an earlier post, I argued that school based solutions to the problem of the poor performance of students in central city schools were not likely to succeed because they ignored the impact of the concentration of disadvantaged students on student achievement.  The data showed that 79% of the variation in performance in school performance […]

New York’s “Failing Schools” – The Wrong Diagnosis and a Misguided Solution

For the past several years, Governor Cuomo’s office has issued a report, “The State of New York’s Failing Schools.” The 2015 report contends that “Despite the fact that districts with failing schools receive more state funding than other districts, these schools are delivering unacceptable results…The statistics and facts contained in this report and its Appendix […]