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State Releases School Report Cards | News

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State Releases School Report Cards


Gannett Albany Bureau

ALBANY - The state Education Department issued its annual school Report Cards today, two months earlier than they were released last year.

Check Your District's Report Card

Report Cards are normally released in February or March and were a little late in 2010, said Jane Briggs, a state Education Department spokeswoman.

The 2009-10 Report Cards include statewide, district and school statistics on enrollment, teacher qualifications, class size, test scores, graduation rates, demographic data and other information.

A lot of the data has been released in the past year, but the School Report Cards compile all of the information on the state's 2.9 million students in one place.

New data included in the Report Cards includes the percentage of core classes taught by "highly qualified" teachers. Core classes include English, math, science, social studies, art, music and foreign languages. Highly qualified teachers are those who have at least a bachelor's degree, are certified to teach in the subject area and have demonstrated they are competent in the subject matter.

Statewide, 3 percent of instructors were teaching outside their certification area in core classes last year, the same rate as 2008-09. In high-wealth districts, 1 percent taught outside their certification area last year, the same rate as the two previous years. In high-poverty districts, however, 10 percent were teaching outside their certification in 2007-08. That fell to 8 percent in 2008-09 and 6 percent last year.

Six percent of teachers had fewer than three years of experience in 2008-09, down from 9 percent the previous year. A greater proportion of teachers had master's degrees - 36 percent - in 2009-10 compared to 2008-09, when 34 percent did.

The number of teachers statewide was down 1.7 percent - 3,757 instructors - last year, to 219,333. The number of paraprofessionals increased from 67,568 to 79,270, a 2.5 percent jump.

Other new data:

-- School and district performance on Regents exams. That includes Algebra 2/Trigonometry, which was given for the first time last year. It replaced another math exam.

-- Grades 4 and 8 science test results for 2009-10. Eighty-eight percent of fourth-graders met the standards in science, and 71 percent of eighth-graders did.

-- Grades 5 and 8 social studies test results for 2009-10.

-- Annual testing results on Regents Competency Tests, which are administered to students with disabilities who have failed one or more required Regents exams; Second Language Proficiency exams; and the state English as a Second Language Achievement Test.

-- More detailed school accountability data for student subgroups.

-- The annual number of students who completed high school and dropped out of high school; post-secondary plans; and students who completed career- and technical-education programs.

Previously released statistics include:

-- Results of math and English/language arts exams for grades 3 to 8.

-- School and district graduation rates for students who started high school in September 2005.

-- Schools that have not made adequate yearly progress, a federal No Child Left Behind standard, and are on the Schools in Need of Improvement list.

You can check your school's report card at the State Education Department's Website.


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