Summer School, Summer Scores
July 29th, 2011
(Jason Lewis filed this post.)
With the beginning of the school year only a little more than a month away, thousands of New York City public school students remain unsure whether they’ll be promoted to the next grade in the fall.
Back in June, the New York City Department of Education recommended some 34,000 students in grades three through eight attend summer school based on the city’s preliminary analysis of the statewide math and English language arts exams. Students who do poorly on the exams have to try to improve their performance in summer school or face having to repeat a grade.
Some 39,244 elementary and middle schools students were mandated for summer school – though not all of those had to attend in order to move up a grade — and registered. Of those, about 84 percent actually attended class last week.
The determination of who faces being left back, though, remains a bit fuzzy since the city education department still has not received final test scores from the state.
Prior to 2010, parents and students received the results of state tests well before the start of summer school. But, in 2010 the state began administering the tests in May instead of January and March — a move that delays the release of test scores until mid-summer.
Last year the city Department of Education vastly underestimated how many kids needed to go to summer school. It recommended summer school for 22,802 students. Then when the state released test scores at the end of July, it was revealed that some 31,000 students needed to go to summer school.
“Last year was a disaster,” said Pamela Wheaton, project director for Insideschools.org. But for now she says it’s best to “wait and see how things turn out. … This year the jury is still out.”
This year the city tried to adhere more closely to state grading standards and establish a more accurate count of how many students needed to attend summer school, according to Wheaton.
A representative from the New York State Department of Education said that more information about this year’s test scores will be released in the coming days.
By any count, the number of students required to attend summer school has risen sharply since 2009 when less than 15,000 third through eighth graders had to go. This reflects, to at least some extent, more stringent grading of the state tests, which led to an increase in the number of students who did not meet standards on the exams.
More than 70,000 high school students also were mandated to attend summer school. About two thirds of them attended classes in late July, according to the Department of Education.By Gail Robinson on July 29, 2011, 12:48 pm
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