Poor performance could mean final bell for city schools

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It could be final bell for 217 city schools whose progress reports showed dismal grades.

The progress reports include “A” through “F” grades of 1,193 elementary and middle schools. The schools who scored a “D” or an “F,” or no higher than a “C” for three years, could be on the chopping block, with this year’s citywide number up roughly 120 from last year, as reported by the Daily News.

The Daily News also reported that DOE officials said they would consider closing a fraction of the schools, but did not say which those would be.

Despite the drop in marks, Queens emerged as the highest performing borough, with District 26 coming out as the highest performing district.

According to a DOE statement, all grades are based on measurements of student progress, performance, attendance and feedback from students, teachers and parents about their schools. This year, the standards have expanded and coursework has become more demanding so as to build a more solid foundation for students who continue to higher education.

“This year, our students are engaging in more challenging coursework,” said Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky.

Elementary and middle school curriculum now has higher standards, including good performance in critical thinking, defending arguments and executing experiments. Middle school progress reports in particular now measure the percentage of students with a passing grade in core courses. These measures have been implemented in order to create greater accountability for how well city schools are preparing students for future success.

“Our elementary and middle schools build on the foundation of early learning to set our students on a path for college and career readiness,” said DOE Chancellor Dennis Walcott.