School report cards: improvement needed

Complaints from teachers and parents have prompted some changes to the city?s school report card system.

When the city released school report cards last year, they were widely criticized. Schools thought to be in good standing received D?s and F?s while others less likely to do well got A?s. Because the scores impact potential school overhauls and even closures, parents and teachers demanded a change.

In an e-mail to school principals, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Department of Education said that change is on the way. For example, special education students will get more credit for even small improvements and high-scoring students will not be penalized for slight drops in their grades.

The report cards will also include an overall school grade. Schools currently receive grades in three areas: school environment, student performance and student improvement.

According to the New York Sun, however, standardized test scores in reading and math will still count for 85 percent of the report cards.

Bloomberg said a final proposal on the new report cards will be released in March.

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