High School Choice in New York City: A Report on the School Choices and Placements of Low-Achieving Students
Nathanson, Lori, Sean Corcoran (IESP), and Christine Baker-Smith, 2013.
The New York City Department of Education’s recent efforts to improve high schools have in large part depended on a policy of choice, which enables families to select a school that they believe will best meet their child’s needs. This report examines the high school choices and placements of New York City’s lowest-achieving students, and assesses how these schools compare to those of their high-achieving peers. High School Choice in New York City.
The Condition of NYC High Schools: Examining Trends and Looking Toward the Future
Kemple, James J., 2013
Until the turn of the 21st century, high school graduation rates in New York City hovered at or below 50 percent, much lower than state and national averages. There was widespread agreement about the need to reform the City’s high schools and produce better results for students. This paper presents an independent analysis of how the high school landscape changed in New York City between 1999 and 2011 and, importantly, the extent to which key student outcomes improved during that time. The Condition of New York City High Schools.
Who Stays and Who Leaves? Findings from a Three-Part Study of Teacher Turnover in NYC Middle Schools
Marinell, William H. and Vanessa M. Coca with the Middle School Teacher Turnover Project, 2013
This paper synthesizes findings from the Research Alliance’s investigation of teacher turnover in New York City’s public middle schools. These years are widely recognized as a critical turning point for students, and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) is pursuing a range of middle school improvement initiatives. The stability of the middle school teaching force has the potential to facilitate or complicate these efforts, yet there have been few studies of the rates and patterns of teacher turnover in the City’s middle schools. Who Stays and Who Leaves?
Usage Patterns and Perceptions of the Achievement, Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS)
Gold, Thomas, Jessica Lent, Rachel Cole, James Kemple, Lori Nathanson, and Janet Brand, 2012
This report offers the first systematic examination of actual usage of New York City’s Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), a comprehensive data system designed to put student information within easy reach of school administrators and teachers. The findings suggest that ARIS has been used successfully as a school-wide planning tool, but was less valuable as a direct aid to classroom instruction. Usage Patterns and Perceptions of ARIS.
Assessing the Early Impact of School of One: Evidence from Three School-Wide Pilots
Cole, Rachel, James J. Kemple and Micha D. Segeritz, 2012
School of One (SO1) is an innovative, technology-enhanced math program that seeks to “meet students where they are,” by creating individual learning plans, offering multiple teaching strategies, and using daily assessments to monitor progress and adapt lessons as needed. This report evaluates SO1’s impact on students’ state test scores during the first year of school-wide implementation in three New York City middle schools. Assessing the Early Impact of School of One.
Thoughts of Leaving: An Exploration of Why New York City Middle School Teachers Consider Leaving Their Classrooms
Pallas, Aaron M. and Clare K. Buckley, 2012
This report explores the conditions under which middle-school teachers in New York City leave their schools, and the consequences of this turnover. The focus on middle schools stems from the widely-held view that the middle grades are a critical turning point in the lives of children, and that many New York City schoolchildren lose academic momentum in these grades, setting them on trajectories of failure as they move towards high school and life beyond it. Thoughts of Leaving.
In this study, we investigate whether and how students' achievement and attendance change between grades four and eight and identify moments during this period when students' achievement and attendance suggest they will struggle to graduate from high school on time. Navigating the Middle Grades.
Learning from “Turnaround” Middle Schools: Strategies for Success
Villavicencio, Adriana and Justina K. Grayman, 2012
In New York City and around the nation, there is intense interest in the question of what it takes to turn around a low-performing school. This study focused on two sets of initially low-performing NYC middle schools. The first group (the “turnaround schools”) exhibited significant growth in academic performance between 2006 and 2010, while the other group saw minimal growth or remained stagnant during the same period. To gain an understanding of how the turnaround schools improved, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with principals and focus groups with teachers in both sets of schools. Learning from "Turnaround" Middle Schools.
Navigating the Middle Grades and Preparing Students for High School Graduation-Working Brief
Kieffer, Michael, William Marinell and Nickisha Stephenson, 2011
This brief presents preliminary findings from an exploratory study of New York City students’ transitions into, through, and out of the middle grades. Navigating the Middle Grades and Preparing Students for High School Graduation.
The Middle School Teacher Turnover Project - A Descriptive Analysis of Teacher Turnover in New York City’s Middle Schools
Marinell, William, 2011
This report presents findings from the first of three components of a mixed-methods study of middle school teacher turnover in New York City. Our findings suggest an exodus of newly-arrived teachers from middle schools, and they raise questions for future research about the causes, consequences, and implications of teacher turnover. The remaining two components of the Research Alliance’s larger study – a survey and a case study analysis – will investigate these and other questions. The Middle School Teacher Turnover Project.
Research Colloquium—Learning from New York City’s Portfolio Strategy: How Policy and Practice Can Inform Research
On November 18, 2010, the Research Alliance, in partnership with the Future of Children Journal, hosted a research colloquium entitled Learning from New York City’s Portfolio Strategy: How Policy and Practice can Inform Research. We invite you to read more about the research colloquium and the research questions that were proposed to inform high school improvement initiatives in New York City.
The chapter addresses the ultimate goals of the reforms instituted under the banner of Children First: improved student performance and higher graduation rates. To date, the field has lacked a rigorous and independent analysis of the extent to which the city’s improved test scores and graduation rates reflect Children First effects per se or are artifacts of prior reform efforts or of other external influences occurring during the Children First era (2003-2010). This chapter seeks to fill that gap and provides compelling evidence of positive effects on student test scores and graduation rates.
Children First and Student Outcomes: 2003-2010
This paper, which was written as part of a retrospective volume on education reforms enacted under Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein*, addresses the ultimate goals of the reforms instituted under the banner of Children First: improved student performance and higher graduation rates. Annual reports from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) indicate that, on average, the city’s schools have made significant progress both on test score measures and on high school completion rates. To date, however, the field has lacked a rigorous and independent analysis of the extent to which these improved test scores and graduation rates reflect Children First effects per se or are artifacts of prior reform efforts or of other external influences occurring during the Children First era (2003-2010). This paper seeks to fill that gap.
The methodology used in this paper – a comparative interrupted time series analysis – provides a rigorous assessment of the effect of these recent reforms on student outcomes. It compares student outcome trends in New York City with a particularly strong counterfactual. This analysis provides compelling evidence of strong positive effects on student outcomes from the constellation of Children First reforms beginning in 2003. In general, however, the effects derived from these analyses are smaller than the improvements that are typically displayed for the Children First era because some amount of this improvement is likely an artifact of reforms and trends that were underway before the implementation of Children First reforms, other reform initiatives at the federal and state level, and a growing familiarity with the assessments and testing strategies across the state. The central strength of the method applied here, however, is that it provides evidence of effects over and above the continuing effects of prior reforms and of reforms and conditions shared by other districts.
In addition, using longitudinally-linked student-level data, the paper examines the relationship between results on the New York State tests in grade 8 and subsequent graduation with a Regents diploma. It finds that grade 8 test score performance is a strong predictor of students’ prospects for high school graduation, particularly with a Regents diploma, and that this relationship has persisted even as test scores have risen over time. Yet, according to the most recent graduation data, nearly 20 percent of students who are classified as meeting state performance standards in eighth grade fail to graduate with a Regent’s diploma.
The author argues that, given the consequences placed on state test results for accountability, including school closure, assessing the predictive strength of the assessments for later academic success is critical for both system legitimacy and for interpreting the implications of observed trends. In addition, the paper raises a number of questions about the specific sources of the found effects, about the underlying variation for important subpopulations of students, and about the conditions under which progress has been especially slow.*The NYC Education Reform Retrospective Project brought together researchers from multiple disciplines to analyze and reflect on the design, implementation, and effects of the policies under the Children First initiative. The volume contains not only Kemple’s research on student outcomes but also research on issues such as governance, instruction, and school choice.
Inaugural Paper Series
Presented at the inaugural conference of the Research Alliance for NYC Schools, New York, October 2007.
Schwartz, Amy Ellen., Rubenstein, Ross., and Stiefel, Leanna, 2007
Why Do Some Schools Get More and Others Less?
An Examination of School-Level Funding in New York City.
Boyd, Donald., Grossman, Pamela., Lankford, Hamilton, Loeb, Susanna., and Wyckoff, James H., 2007
Teacher Attrition and Student Achievement.
Easton, John Q., and Roderick, Melissa, 2007
Developing New Roles for Research in New Policy Environments .
The Consortium on Chicago School Research.
Pallas, Aaron M., and. Riehl, Carolyn J., 2007
The demand for high school programs in New York City .