A high school diploma is critical to succeeding in the 21st century economy, and Renewal Schools are making real progress in increasing the number of students they graduate each year.
- The graduation rate across Renewal Schools has increased by 13.5 percentage points from 52.5% in 2014 to 66.0% in 2017.
K-8 Math and English Language Learners (ELA)
Test scores are one important measure of progress, and we’ve seen important gains across Renewal Schools. (2018 exam administration established a new baseline, so 2018 results should not be compared to prior years.)
- All 48 schools (with grades in 3-8) have made improvements in their English proficiency since 2014.
- 45 of the 48 schools (with grades in 3-8) have made improvements in their math proficiency since 2014.
- English proficiency among students of Renewal Schools citywide has increased by 17.2 percentage points since the 2013-14 school year. Math proficiency among students of Renewal Schools has increased by 10.8 percentage points since the 2013-14 school year.
Students must be in school to learn, and we’re reaching families and using data to make sure they’re showing up.
- End-of-year attendance at Renewal Schools has increased by 4.3 percentage points, from 84.5% to 88.8%.
- 96% of Renewal Schools have improved their attendance from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
- Chronic absenteeism –being absent more than 10% of the school year– has decreased by 10.9 percentage points from 46.9% to 36.0%.
Schools climate must be strong to support high quality teaching and learning, and we’ve seen major progress.
- Suspensions decreased by 54% from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
- The most serious incidents (levels 4 and 5) decreased by 32% from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
Having the right staff of committed educators is essential, and we’re seeing an influx of teachers and educational professionals who want to work at Renewal Schools.
- Every Renewal School hired a Community School Director to lead coordination and integration of support services including health, mental health, family/community engagement, social services, and expanded learning opportunities.
- Since the beginning of the Renewal initiative, Renewal schools have recruited 241 Teacher Leaders (13 Master Teachers, 122 Peer Collaborative Teachers, and 106 Model Teachers) across 80 schools.
- Last year, there were 86 more teachers in the Emerging Teacher Leader Program across 47 Renewal Schools.
- We received almost 1,700 internal DOE applicants for positions at Renewal Schools – an increase of almost 50% over the previous year.
- 566 teachers participated in 3,207 hours collectively of PD in SY 16-17, and even more hours were logged in job-embedded coaching.
- As of 2017-2018 we have made leadership changes at 41 Renewal Schools, ensuring there is the right leader to oversee the turnaround.
- Every renewal school hired a full-time AmeriCorps member to support attendance improvement and family engagement
We’ve worked with schools to attract more students and highlight important programs and our family engagement, and outreach work shows that we are making an impact.
- As of January 2017, applications into Renewal Middle Schools have increased by 83% over the past two years, from 9,519 applicants for fall 2015 to 17,387 applicants for fall 2017.
- In fact, 43 of 44 middle schools saw an increase in the number of applicants and 37 middle schools have seen an increase in first-choice applicants.
- For several years before the Renewal Schools program, enrollment across these schools dropped about 10% each year. This year, that drop has decreased significantly – to 5%.
- The percent of college ready graduates across Renewal Schools has increased by 13.8 percentage points from 31.5% in 2014 to 45.3% in 2017.
- Every Renewal School student is receiving at least an additional 5 hours per week of targeted instruction and enrichment for approximately 30 additional days of instruction per student per year.
- All renewal schools that serve elementary-school aged students are open during the summer, offering full-day academic and enrichment programs.
- Renewal high schools provide summer learning and career exploration programming to students.
Health and Wellness
- New health services were provided at every renewal school
- Vision screening provided to all students
- Free Warby Parker eyeglasses given to every student who needs them
- Asthma case management in all middle schools
- Reproductive health counselling and care delivered in every high school
- Mental Health services, including counselling, professional development for teachers, and clinical services provided in every renewal school
- 7 Renewal Schools have food pantries on campus
- 14 Renewal Schools opened adult literacy programs to support parents and community members
- Every renewal school is also a Community School. Our community school model is a full service, wraparound model that meets students, families and communities where they are. The model acknowledges that turning around entire communities takes time – and that it usually take 10 years to see full transformation.
- The Renewal Program should be compared to other school turnaround efforts that have been pursued nationally. By that yardstick, Renewal’s batting average of roughly one third showing significant progress, one-third showing modest improvement, and one-third continuing to struggle, the NYC effort produced stronger results than most other similar initiatives nationally.
- For example, the U.S. Department of Education's 2017 analysis of the $3.5 billion federal School Improvement Grant program found no impact nationally on math/reading scores or high school graduation rates. In the aggregate, the Renewal program achieved significantly better results than that.
Aligned with What Works
- The main elements of the Renewal program have been consistent with existing research into the essential ingredients in successful school turnarounds: parental and community empowerment, teacher and administrator collaboration bolstered by proven approaches to professional development, close attentiveness to data, instructional rigor, and extended learning time. Implementing each of those components entails significant challenges, which is why there is no single silver bullet for transforming struggling schools in New York City or anywhere else. But as our Renewal program demonstrated, remarkable transformations can happen when administrators, teachers and other stakeholders collectively carry out that enormously challenging work together.