FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND CHANCELLOR JOEL I. KLEIN ANNOUNCE RESULTS OF SUMMER SUCCESS ACADEMY
51% of Third Grade Students Attending Summer Success Academy Earned Automatic Promotion to Fourth Grade by Scoring at Level 2 or Higher
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the results of the Summer Success Academy, noting that 51% of third grade students who attended 10 or more days earned automatic promotion to the fourth grade by scoring at Level 2 or higher on required Citywide tests, which include the English Language Arts (ELA) and Math exams. The Mayor and Chancellor also announced that 41% of all third grade students who scored at Level 1 during the spring scored at Level 2 or higher on the summer tests, thus earning automatic promotion to the fourth grade. This is more than double the rate last year, when only 19% of Level 1 third grade students scored at Level 2 during the summer. In addition, 15% of those children scoring at Level 1 in the spring were granted appeals in June, earning promotion based on their class work. A child scoring at Level 1 does not meet basic proficiency requirements in reading or math. The previous promotion policy not only promoted unprepared students through the public school system, but was also applied inconsistently across the City. The Mayor and Chancellor made the announcement at Department of Education (DOE) headquarters in the Tweed Courthouse.
"The Summer Success Academy is critical in our efforts to end the practice of social promotion and provide students with the education they deserve," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Unlike in the past, when students were done a great disservice and promoted to the next grade unprepared, students now receive the support and attention they need to move on. In its first year, the Academy helped over 4,200 students who were at levels too low to graduate get the education they need to move on to the next grade. The extra attention clearly makes a difference."
"Ending social promotion is an important yet common sense step toward restoring accountability in our public schools," Chancellor Klein said. "It is far preferable to educate children before promoting them, than to promote children before educating them. Thanks to the hard work of our students, parents, teachers and entire school staffs, we've succeeded this year not only in identifying the students who most needed help, but providing that support and placing them appropriately."
The DOE's new promotion policy is based on a combination of test scores and an appeals process that includes the review of each student's class work. During the 2003-2004 school year, the DOE held 63,072 third graders to the new promotion policy, with 10,398 of these students scoring at Level 1 on one or both of the Citywide tests in the spring. Of the 10,398 students scoring at Level 1, each of whose class work was thoroughly reviewed, 1,510, or 15%, were granted appeals in June based on this review, thereby earning promotion without attending summer school. Of the 1,510, 474 did attend summer school and 351 of these students scored Level 2 on the August tests.
The DOE offered 9,239 third grade students placement in the Summer Success Academy, providing students with intensive instruction and support in July and August, the opportunity to re-take the tests in August, and a review of their class work. As a result of the instruction and support, 4,105 third grade students, or 51%, who attended Summer Success Academy for 10 or more days achieved Level 2 scores or higher on the Citywide tests, thus earning promotion to the fourth grade. Overall, 41% of all third grade students who scored at Level 1 during the spring scored at Level 2 or higher on the summer tests, thus earning automatic promotion to the fourth grade. Last year, only 19% of Level 1 third grade students scored at Level 2 during the summer.
As of today, 4,257 students scoring Level 1 in the spring will be promoted to the fourth grade because they scored at Level 2 on the August tests. The promotion status of the remaining 4,982 third grade students who did not score Level 2 on the spring or summer tests and did not have an appeal granted in the spring will be determined in the coming weeks after the appeals process and review of class work by Community Superintendents. To date, 52% of third grade students who scored at Level 1 in the spring have earned promotion to the fourth grade.
The improvement in the percentage for student performance from Level 1 to Level 2 as a result of the Summer Success Academy was significant in both ELA and Math. After attending the Summer Success Academy, a total of 6,228 third grade students took the Citywide ELA test and 54% of students scored at or above Level 2, an 8% increase as compared to last year, when 5,560 third grade students took the ELA test and 46% of students scored at or above Level 2. A total of 4,860 third grade students took the Citywide Math test this summer and 57% of students scored at or above Level 2, an 11% increase as compared to last year, when 3,867 third grade students took the Math test and 46% of students scored at or above Level 2.
During the 2003-2004 school year, the DOE announced its new promotion policy for third graders. The policy was implemented in an effort to end what is known as "social promotion," a practice that promotes students who are not prepared to move to the next grade level through the City's public school system. During the 2002-2003 school year, the DOE promoted 7,263 students who had scored at Level 1 on either or both spring and summer tests. The new promotion policy consists of a series of interventions, the first of which was the identification of over 30,000 third graders whose promotion was deemed "in doubt" by each student's teacher. During the spring of 2004, principals and teachers focused interventions on students whose promotion had been identified as "in doubt." The City allocated $8 million in new funds for these focused interventions, which included Saturday Academies, after school tutoring, vacation week classes and parent workshops. After the spring third grade ELA and Math tests, 10,398 students scored Level 1 on either or both ELA and Math tests and did not yet meet the standards for promotion.
Prior to the beginning of classes in the Summer Success Academy, school officials and staff conducted a detailed review of class work that employed uniform standards for all students who scored at Level 1 on either the ELA or Math test. As part of the process, classroom teachers reviewed each student's class work and principals recommended students with High Level 2 portfolios to their Community Superintendents. Based on the class work, the Community Superintendent either promoted the student or recommended placement in the Summer Success Academy.
The Summer Success Academy is the most comprehensive summer program the DOE has ever offered in literacy and math. $32 million was allocated for third grade interventions during the summer. The summer program used specially trained teachers, targeted interventions by specialists such as speech teachers and parent workshops. In addition wrap around programs including the arts and many other activities were offered.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Jerry Russo (DOE)