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High School Progress Reports Weigh In — At 305 Excel Columns!

High School Progress Reports, which the Department of Education released on Nov. 26, have yet another new way to measure schools: the college and career readiness index, which now counts for 10 percent of a school’s grade.

As if the 2011 reports, at 205 columns of Excel data per school was not enough, the 2012 reports arrived on a 305-column spreadsheet, boasting 39 new columns of college and career readiness data points. That doesn’t count the “additional information,” 72 columns of supplemental data, in case the first 39 didn’t quite get at everything you wanted to know about college readiness.

Give them points for trying. But some of this data is going to wind up in “deleted items” and never get crunched.

Even the DOE didn’t try. It didn’t put out PowerPoint slides or anything that summarizes (or spins) the information.

So here are some general findings — calculations in most cases are by UFT, not DOE.

The three parts of the college readiness index show

  • 29 percent of students graduated “college ready” in 2012, meaning they scored at least 75 on the English Regents and 80 on the math, OR got at least 480 on their SATs. That is up from 25 percent last year.
  • 34 percent of students passed a “rigorous” exam, such as an AP, advanced Regents or CTE test.
  • 50 percent of recent graduates had enrolled in college after six months and 55 percent had done so after 18 months.

The DOE boasts that the new high schools  created under Mayor Bloomberg have higher grades than older high schools. Using data on 170 new schools created since 2002, we actually found college readiness is much higher in the “old” schools — 30 percent compared to 20 percent in the new schools — and the college and career readiness index was a full grade higher in the old schools.

While the DOE boasts that the new schools have higher progress report scores, the difference is slight. In addition, the graduation rate was slightly higher in the old schools this year by our calculations. (We excluded the separate transfer high schools list from our analysis.)

Comparison of Schools Created under Bloomberg and Older Schools

New Schools

Old Schools

Graduation Rate



% Students College Ready



College/Career Ready Score (Grade)

5.54 (C)

6.34 (B)

Progress Report Overall Score



Finally, one very encouraging finding:  though the official graduation rate won’t be out for months, it looks like the city came very close to a 70% on-time graduation rate for 2012, up from 65.5 percent in 2011, including August grads.

As for the remaining 300 or so Excel columns, data geeks can go here: http://schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/tools/report/default.htm