Community Impact

Community Impact

 

The reality is that 21% of Legacy students receive ICT or SC services; 28% of Legacy students have an IEP, 8% are English Language Learners and 95% of Legacy students are eligible for free or reduced lunch according to the Educational Impact Statement.  We will be highly affected by this phase-out and closure.  As stated by the Educational Impact Statement: as total enrollment at the school declines throughout the course of the phase-out, the school will likely need to scale back its elective course offerings.  Our course electives are already dwindling and it is likely that we will have less choice as the school phases out.  [How will this make the educational program better? How would this improve our learning?]

 

In the Educational Impact Statement, the Department of Education included a list of schools that offer similar programming as Legacy and state that they are giving individuals a choice over their education.  Since it is likely that if a school receives a C, D, or F that they could be proposed for closure if conditions persist, incoming students would narrow their choices to schools that received an A or a B in their progress report.   From a list of 54 options, this is narrowed to 23 schools.  Only 43% of schools that are similar to Legacy are receiving an A or a B on their progress report.  From a historical viewpoint, students who have gone to Legacy have always been students with some of the highest needs in the city.  If this trend persists, it will be unlikely for them to get into a school that screens.  Therefore, from a list of 23, it goes down to 6 possible options.  From those 6 options, 3 of them (Unity Center for Urban Tech, High School for Environmental Studies and The Facing History School) are over capacity and will make it more difficult for students to enroll.  The three schools (Essex Street Academy, Pace High School and Vanguard) that remain already have percentages close to the citywide averages of special education and English Language Learners.  Therefore, it is likely that more high-needs students will be funneled to those schools and that these schools will meet the same fate as schools that have been phased-out.  From a list of 54 possible options, students that would have gone to Legacy only get 3 real choices.

 

 

The New York Times. Leaders of 4 ‘F’ Schools Are Now Up for Bonuses:  Gootman, Elissa. New York Times [New York, N.Y] 06 June 2008: B.

Student Performance and Student Progress

Student Performance and Student Progress

The Intersection between graduation rate and credit-accumulation rate

 According to the Educational Impact Statement, Legacy is being proposed for phase-out and closure due to the declining graduation rate.  For the year 2009-2010, our four-year graduation rate was 59% and then it decreased to 43% during Ms. Mosely’s first year.  However, Ms. Mosely’s 6-year graduation increased to 64% compared to 44% from the previous year.  Additionally, the students who were graduating with a Regent’s Diploma increased from 19% to 33%.  For the year 2009-2010, only 28% of students in the Class of 2010 (students who entered high school four years earlier) enrolled in a two- or four-year college by December 31, 2010.  If you include the citywide statistic that only 13% of Black and Latino students are college-ready, we begin to see a different picture.  It looks like more students were graduating under the previous administration, but that they were not necessarily prepared for college as so few of them actually graduated with a Regent’s Diploma. Additionally, teachers and students were surprised to see certain students graduate for the school year 2009-2010.  With reports from students and parents that academic rigor has increased under Ms. Mosely’s leadership and the data-driven nature of the administration, we can’t help but question the previous administration’s graduation and credit-accumulation rates.

We are calling on an investigation of the graduation rate and credit-accumulation rate.  Evidence shows that the past administration was not fully equipped to change this school and that they were not data-driven.  In the Quality Review of 2009-2010, many of items that Legacy needed to improve primarily focused on the principal and his capacity to be data-driven.  The chart below demonstrates the areas of improvement as stated by the Quality Review and categories.

Area of Improvement as stated in Quality Review 2009-2010 Categories
Consistently examine student achievement data to identify trends and subgroup

needs in order to apply strategic curricular and instructional adjustments across

classrooms.

Data and curriculum
Develop focused goals with specific actions in long-term planning, and a strategy

for measuring progress, so that the school community can fully understand and

support work toward interim and long-term goals.

Data and short-term and long-term goals
Promote greater consistency in using data to differentiate instruction so that

lesson planning reflects purposeful groupings, tasks accommodate different

learning styles and questioning extends thinking, thereby maximizing learning.

Data and differentiation
Refine action planning by developing interim goals and benchmarks for all plans

so that progress can be measured, adjustments made, and success evaluated.

Data and assessments
Implement a professional development plan, aligned with whole school and

teacher goals, develop leadership potential, and ensure that rigorous monitoring

procedures are introduced to evaluate the impact of actions on achievement.

Data and professional development

 

In comparison, in the Quality Review of 2010-2011, the first item under what the school does well was:

 

“A highly strategic new principal builds school-wide coherence through the development of data driven, multi-year goals with action plans, clearly linked to accelerating student learning.”

 

While there are areas that we need to improve, we believe that Ms. Mosely is deeply committed to data and correctly documenting it.  Therefore, if we are being closed because of data, it should be ACCURATE data.

In conclusion, we are calling on an investigation of the graduation rates and credit-accumulation rates under the past administration.  At the same time, we are not blaming the past administration exclusively for what happened at Legacy.  In fact, we believe that the blame should be placed on the Department of Education.  The past administration came from the Leadership Academy, a pilot program started under the Bloomberg Administration.  Though some analyses found that schools run by the program’s graduates underperformed those led by principals who had more experience or more traditional backgrounds, the city expanded the program, which began with private funds, and incorporated it into the budget.[1] Our past administration was a principal who underperformed.  In 2009-2010, the current administration did not meet expectations as set by the Superintendent according to NY1 Report on Principal Ratings, obtained from the DOE through a Freedom of Information Request. [2]  He was demoted and removed from Legacy.  He remains in the system as an assistant principal at John Bowne.  We are skeptical and call for an investigation as this same past administration was also up for a bonus the year before he left according to the New York Times and the website of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. [3]

Without an investigation and full disclosure of findings to the public, the Department of Education has no case for closing Legacy.

Proposal for Closure

Proposal for Closure

The proposal for closure is based on data on significant time increments: 10 years, 5 years and 3 years.  We only have data from the past three years so we feel that anything before needs to be disregarded and not utilized as part the proposal for closure as the public does not have access to that data. What we do have data that begins in 2008 and so we can comment on that.

 

The first thing that should be noted are the differences between past administration and current administration.  Ms. Mosely, our current principal, has only been here since 2010 and so a closure should be based on her data.  While we recognize that it is important to compare the year or two before Ms. Mosely, what we find appalling is the evaluation of Ms. Mosely and her ability to create change.  She has only had one year of data and so at this moment, the DOE is unable to fully evaluate her capacity to change the school in the future.

[How did the DOE evaluate Ms. Mosely’s capacity to create change in the school? Does the DOE regularly just give one year to principals to create change? What is the data regarding this?]

 

There are two aspects to discuss here:

  • A comparison of principal to principal
  • A comparison of one year to the next year by the same principal

 

Since, neither us or the DOE have the data to compare yearly gains of Ms. Mosely to evaluate her capacity to increase graduation rates and better learning outcomes, we can discuss the comparison of principal to principal.

 

According to the Progress Reports:

 

  2008-2009 Gregory Rodrigues 2009-2010

Gregory Rodrigues

2010-2011

Joan Mosely

Areas of evaluation
School Environment 7.6 of 15

C

8.0 of 15

C

6.0 of 15

D

School survey, attendance rate
Student Performance 9.8 of 25

D

7.5 of 25

F

10.1 of 25

D

Graduation rate, weighed diploma rate
Student Progress 25.7 of 60

D

35.5 of 60

B

19.3 of 60

F

Credit accumulation, regents passing rates
Overall Score D C F  

 

 

By looking at the numbers, we can see that there was a decrease in school environment and student progress from 2009-2010 school year to 2010-2011 school year.  There was a significant numerical increase in student performance from 7.5 to 10.1 out of 25 because of the 6 year graduation rate and weighed diploma rate.  The decrease in student progress was mostly because of credit accumulation.  In fact, Ms. Mosely received 6.16 points for regents pass rates compared to 5.78 the year before.  Under deeper inspection, when we analyze the specific areas of evaluation such as school environment, we see that there were not many differences numerically in school survey data, but the points lost were because of attendance rate.  In the next sections, we will discuss the differences between principals and other factors that affect each of these measures by looking at the school environment, student performance and progress.

Legacy’s Creation

History

The creation of Legacy School for Integrated Studies came from the Coalition of Campus Schools Project (CCSP), launched in New York City as part of a broader initiative to create small, new model schools during the early 1990s.[1] The project was part of the Board of Education’s broader school restructuring initiative, begun by Chancellor Joe Fernandez in 1989 and continued through the terms of four subsequent chancellors.[2] This project replaced two large, comprehensive neighborhood high schools with eleven small schools and redesigned the campuses to include a set of small elementary and high schools.[3]  Julia Richman was one of the large, comprehensive high schools that was replaced by six smaller high schools: Coalition School for Social Change, Landmark High School, Manhattan International High School, Manhattan Village Academy, Vanguard High School and Legacy School for the Integrated Studies.  Since, 5 of the 6 schools have remained opened.

When this project began, it was plagued by problems such as lack of funding, space and structural supports for student recruitment.  Late admissions, guidance counselors’ reluctance to recommend schools that did not have a site, and the Board of Education’s complex assignment procedures produced a student body comprised mostly of students who had not applied elsewhere or had been rejected by their chosen schools in the normal admission process.[4] Thus the CCSP student population included much greater proportions of low-income, low-achieving, and limited English-proficient students than the citywide average or the old Julia Richman High School (see Table 1).[5]

 

Since its inception, Legacy School for Integrated Studies has been a place where they have warehoused students who needed the most support. The small schools within this coalition did achieve greater attendance rates, fewer disruptions to the learning time and larger graduation rates.  However, Legacy had left the CCSP because of philosophical differences between the director and other members of the project.  Therefore, the findings about the outcomes from the report do not fully pertain to Legacy.

 

[Where is the data for Legacy during this time? Do parents and students have access to it?] [Insert student/parent perspective of why we bring up the past—history of disinvestment and policies that are mandated rather than created with parents and students that do not work]

 

However, in the Educational Impact Statement, statistics from the last ten years are cited as a reason for closure.

[From Educational Impact Statement] Graduation rates at Legacy have been consistently low for the last ten years. Last year, Legacy’s four-year graduation rate (including August graduates) was just 43%—well below the citywide average of 65.1% and in the bottom 4% of high schools Citywide. (Citywide average is based on the 2010 New York State reported graduation results for NYCDOE students.)

[Where are the graduation rates from the past ten years? How can the community make an informed decision without the appropriate data?]


[1] Reinventing high schools: Outcomes of the Coalition Campus Schools Project http://www.srnleads.org/data/pdfs/reinventing_hs.pdf

[2] Reinventing high schools: Outcomes of the Coalition Campus Schools Project http://www.srnleads.org/data/pdfs/reinventing_hs.pdf

[3] Reinventing high schools: Outcomes of the Coalition Campus Schools Project http://www.srnleads.org/data/pdfs/reinventing_hs.pdf

[4] Reinventing high schools: Outcomes of the Coalition Campus Schools Project http://www.srnleads.org/data/pdfs/reinventing_hs.pdf

[5] Reinventing high schools: Outcomes of the Coalition Campus Schools Project http://www.srnleads.org/data/pdfs/reinventing_hs.pdf

Open Letter To Teachers & Administrations From Students

Dear Teachers and Principals of New York City,

On February 1st, students across New York City will be walking out at 2 P.M to protest school closures and other failed education policies. We, the students called for this walk out because of many aspects. We pleaded for change and basically were told no by the DOE. All summed up we got tired of having to follow the DOE’s unfair policies. It is a completely student run action inspired by the neglect that we have felt by the Department of Education. While many activist groups in NYC support our actions and stand in solidarity with us, we are acting as a separate entity and trying to create a space for high school students. We will rally at Union Square and speak out about our education and the policies that affect us. We feel these policies are not helping and DOE data doesn’t display progress. Students, teachers, and administrators across New York City are affected by them and it’s time to call for a reform. This walkout is to only be heard by the Department of Education and the rest of the city. We want to stop many policies including closures of struggling schools.

We know that you are unable to walkout with us at this moment. However, please support our action on this day by not giving us extensive punishment for this infraction. According to the Student’s Bill of Rights, there is a range of possible disciplinary responses and so we hope you choose a response that will not negatively impact our education.

Please understand that we are not walking out on you. We walk out for you and we hope that one day, you will walk with us too. Thank you so much for your understanding. I would love to emphasize the fact once again that this is not against anyone besides the Department of Education policies that are failing us as a city and as a community.

From The Students You Taught So Well