NY State Charter Schools, Regents Scores and Other Test Data Dispiriting

New York has been struggling to improve its schools.  Now a new study released by education researchers in New York state shows that getting a passing grade on the Regents statewide exams in reading and math correlates to college readiness. The researchers defined college readiness as the ability to sustain at minimum a C average.

College readiness and charter schools

There are two main–if not surprising–insights into the study’s results:

1) Affluence affects college readiness; 95% of students from these wealthy backgrounds graduate, and 72% sustain a C average or better. Those from less wealthy districts help contribute to a statewide average of 77% of students who graduate; only 41% of these students sustain a C average or better once in college.

2) Existing public high schools and public charters have divergent results, showing much worse performance for charters: 

Statewide, only 10 percent of students at charters graduated in 2009 at college-ready standards, though 49 percent received diplomas.

However, not all news is bad–despite the poor readiness rates, the Board of Regents may feel it can raise cutoff scores to pass math (80) and reading (75) with the general sense that student achievement will follow. They may also reason that now is a good time to beef up trade and vocational training in recognition that not all students will attend college.

By PCHS-NJROTC (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons


Jessica C.
Jessica C.5 years ago

And kudos to you Lee E for being such an involved & thoughtful single parent.

Jessica C.
Jessica C.5 years ago

Note to Diana S.: teachers put more work and planning in that if calculated for all their unpaid overtime hours (spent grading & planning at home or after schools hours, etc) $75k is somewhat reasonable considering what they are responsible for. Teachers are looked at like the bad guys b/c they only work 10 months out of the year, but would you want your kids in school year-round? They need time to relax & recharge as do their teachers. as

Steven J.
Steven J.5 years ago

Hi All! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/help-end-minus-grading-affecting-gpa/

Diana S.
Diana S.5 years ago

Note to Lee E: here in California, $75K/year is not an unusual or rare salary for a public school teacher. I wish I could find a job that would pay me that much for a nine-month-a-year gig.

William Y.
William Y.5 years ago

What I found intriguing back when I was in High School, was even though there were 4 curricula, College Prep, Business, General & Vocational, with about a quarter of the students in each, well over 50% of the students attended some form of college, including many of the Vocational students. note this was in the 60's

lee e.
lee e.5 years ago

Incidentally I don't think all students are necessarily inclined for academia, and there is nothing wrong with vocational training, but the foundations of education shouldn't be sacrificed because of that fact - it seems to me that there are several more nearly illiterate college and 2 year college alums entering the work force today than I recall having done in the past.

lee e.
lee e.5 years ago

Actually when it comes to wealth and private schools - who can compete with 6-15 student class rooms and teachers paid 75 grand minimum - in the real world - if we had smaller class sizes and teachers with adequate salaries then our schools would improve. My kids went to "magnet" schools in NYC - they were both in Spanish Harlem, the only caucasians in the school - they both excelled and are college grads - well educated, I might add, and I deliberately sent them to a school where they might learn racial equality! They did! My son went on to study constitutional law under Obama! Yes regent schools can and do work, and parents have to be involved! As a single male parent - I do know about need and education!

Rhonda B.
Rhonda B.5 years ago

Some kids need, want, and prefer the vocations. Ideally college prep kids should also have a vocational skill to help pay for college! We just have to be careful to ensure equal access to both college and career prep programs.

But charters are absolutely going to fail in many cases because they are not being run by professionals. Until the schools are given over to local control, run by certified teachers with education degrees, not non-profits, for-profits, business groups, churches or anyone but real teachers who have the freedom to make educational decisions and teach in the way they KNOW is best, they are going to continue to fail. If you would not send your child to a plumber for heart surgery, why would you send him to a businessman for education? Quality,certified teachers with education degrees, preferably a Masters or higher, coordinated by quality certified teachers with leadership credentials and several certifications, always including special ed, and experience can fix the schools. Let the professionals lead the professionals. No one else is qualified. In no profession but education do outsiders run the program. For too long teaching was considered a craft, not a profession, and that is how it got this way. It is time for a change. Let the pros take care of it! We know how.

Susan P.
Susan Price5 years ago

As any teacher can tell you - not all children learn the same way at the same time. Yes, it is conceivable that there are students who are interested in vocational topics, and you should hope that they are. Who is going to build your home, fix your car, stop that drip in your sink? These are all careers that take training.

And as for charter schools not doing the job, that brings a smile to the face of this retired Philadelphia school teacher.

Julia W.
Julia W.5 years ago

Wayne M.,
Consider that if we go back to offering shop & home ec type classes students *might* stay in school. In the districts around me these classes are taught in seventh grade and no other time. So if you *love* sewing, cooking, building, or automotive you have a quarter in seventh grade and no opportunity to be taught or take more of it-- until 11th &/ or 12th grade.
Schools offer few electives anymore, in my opinion that's a mistake.