Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has a featured article today on the transformation of Adlai E. Stevenson High School into a nine-school complex. Marc Sternberg, a deputy chancellor for the New York City Department of Education, commented that “The work that is happening at the Stevenson campus is dramatically better today, without question, than it was in 2004…And we have a long way to go.”
Student outcomes data paint a mixed picture.
“The graduation rate for schools in the building has nearly doubled, to 57.3 percent at the five traditional four-year schools with graduating classes in 2011, according to statistics from the city’s Education Department.
Attendance at Stevenson has gone from 75 percent a decade ago to 81 percent across the nine schools this year. And while city data shows a 62 percent plunge in violent crime in the building since 2004-5, the state says that overall episodes in the schools have declined much less steeply.
And SAT scores — under 10 percent of students took the test in 2011 — show no marked improvement. Scores on the English Regents exams have climbed, but those on the United States history and government test are no better than Stevenson’s were a decade ago. According to state data, only about 2.4 percent of the students who started at six small schools in the building in 2007 were equipped to do college work four years later — far below the city’s average of 20.7 percent.
Still, only 14 percent of students graduated with a Regents degree from Stevenson in 2005; at the five schools with graduating classes in 2011, 40 percent did.”
I would agree with Mr. Sternberg that there appears to have been improvements but the 2.4 percent of the students who are college-ready is troubling and casts doubt on other metrics such as the higher graduation rate.