High-Need Students May Correlate with Low School Grades

The New York Post analysis finds that schools with a high number of “challenging students” may have significant impact on DOE scoring

High schools with more “challenging students” are more likely to be rated a D or a F by the Department of Education, an analysis by the New York Post has found.

According to the Post, of the 100 high schools with the fewest number of high-needs kids, 50 were rated with an A grade, and none received a D or an F. Of the 100 high schools with the greatest number of high-needs kids, 21 scored an A, while 19 were rated with D’s or F’s, and the remaining 60 scored Bs and Cs.

The DOE’s definitions of high-need students are over-aged when they enter ninth grade, low-performing in math and reading in their previous grade, or are children receiving special education services.

Bernard Gassaway, principal of Boys and Girls High School, spoke out about the discrepancies in the evaluation process for scoring schools, after Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott released the annual high school progress reports in October, and his school received an F grade.

“This is not about pointing fingers, but there is so much more to consider, and there are factors that we can’t ignore,” Gassaway told Bed-Stuy Patch in an interview. “When you’re dealing with a population of students with high needs constantly transferred into my school… students who were formerly incarcerated, court-involved or classified as special education, etc., I cannot turn them away. We have the need, but yet we don’t have the services.”


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