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1475Tilden quality review

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  • leonie@att.net
    Jan 2, 2007
      I found the Tilden HS quality review as well as a few others on the DOE website by doing a search -- though I can't find a link to the individual quality reviews anywhere.  If anyone knows where they can be found, let me know.
      The ones I read do not seem to include comments from parents, nor do any of them mention the problems of overcrowding and/or class size -- a key concern of most parents and teachers alike -- even though the need to individualize instruction for each student is a recurrent theme, which is extremely difficult with 30+ students in a class, and 150+ students per teacher.
      Again, if anyone notes exceptions to this , please let me know. 
      Excerpts from the quality review of Tilden HS, which DOE has decided to close, are below.  It looks indeed as though the school was turning around, with the help of an excellent principal -- which I've also heard from other sources.  Another remarkable finding: the school's Regents passing rate for ELL students was 25.3 percentage points above similar schools and  16.8 percentage points above schools across the City.
      Leonie Haimson
      Class Size Matters
      124 Waverly Pl.
      New York, NY 10011

      -------------- Forwarded Message: --------------


      Tilden quality review
      Overall Evaluation

      This is a proficient school with some undeveloped areas.

      The culture of this school, which has developed under the current leadership, is
      one that exhibits caring and respectful support of all school constituencies in
      their collaborative effort to overcome their deficits and continue to move the
      school on a path of continuous improvement. Recent initiatives have calmed the
      school environment and created an orderly atmosphere in which teaching and
      learning can take place. Although there are areas of the school�s work that are
      undeveloped, school leaders possess a good understanding of those areas which
      require further development and the actions that need to be taken to bring about
      improvements in teaching, learning, attendance and achievement.

      How well the school meets New York�s evaluation criteria

      Quality Statement 1 � Gather Data: School leaders and faculty consistently
      gather data and use it to understand what each student knows and is able to do
      and to onitor student progress over time.

      This area of the school�s work is proficient.

      The principal and her administrative team have an established a weekly pattern
      of reviewing and analyzing students� academic achievement, attendance, incident
      and other available data to inform decisions about the effectiveness of the
      school�s programs and practices in improving students� achievement.
      Additionally, some academic departments generate quantitative and qualitative
      data regarding the performance of students by subject and by teacher in order to
      encourage staff collaboration around effective instructional techniques. All
      departments routinely analyze results of common mid-term and final exams with
      respect to students� perf ormance and instructional effectiveness.

      The school uses a range of performance data to inform the placement of incoming
      freshmen and adjust courses to meet students� needs. The academic intervention
      services team meets regularly to analyze the performance data of special
      education students relative to their individual education plans. Teachers of
      English language learners monitor the academic and social progress of their
      students though the use of assessment data as well as information gathered from
      a network of faculty mentors. Teachers in the Tilden New Opportunities Program
      track the incremental progress of their over-age and under-credited students in
      order to support their progress towards attaining a high school diploma.

      With the exception of the practices regarding English language learners whose
      2005 Regents passing rate was 25.3 percentage points above similar schools and
      16.8 percentage points above schools across the City,
      other programs and
      practices were instituted or restructured during the 2005-2006 school year under
      the guidance of the current principal. These structures are based on the use of
      data and are beginning to have an impact, and recently the percentage of
      students receiving Regents diplomas rose and the percentage of non-completers

      In the 2005-2006 academic year, the school instituted programs to address the
      needs of students in greatest need of improvement. The Tilden New Opportunities
      Program was formed to begin to meet the needs of the school�s over-age and
      under-credited population, resulting in the 67% of attendees passing all three
      Regents exams. Data on the success of other initiatives is not yet available.
      While these efforts demonstrate a commitment to developing individualized
      programs based on individual student�s needs, school leaders recognize that this
      practice must be extended to all classrooms and all students.
      The school�s mission expresses high expectations for students� achievement,
      reflected in the principal�s high expectations for quality instructional
      practice. Students report challenging instruction in approximately half of their
      classes. Meetings with parents are generally reactive. The school has not
      instituted regular meetings with parents and students which are driven by the
      evaluation of each student�s individual plan. The introduction of small-group
      advisory sessions during the extended instructional periods for grade 9 students
      at level 1 and 2 demonstrates an initial step towards identifying each student�s
      needs and creating individualized plans of action. The school possesses a clear
      understanding of the actions necessary to improve.
      Quality Statement 3 � Build and Align Capacity: The school aligns its
      instructional activity and resources, and student engagement around its focused
      plans fo r accelerating learning for each student.
      This area of the school�s work is proficient.

      The school�s academic departments demonstrate a well-established practice of
      developing and revising the local curricula based upon State mandates, the
      scoring and analysis of Regents examinations, and the needs of students. Common
      departmental mid-term and final examinations provide interim data regarding
      students� progress. Some departments have developed common lessons and interim
      assessments. Teachers� instructional practice is monitored by the assistant
      principals and students� outcomes are assessed through the marks analysis and,
      in some departments, by comparisons of teachers� effectiveness. As a result,
      teachers are being training in differentiated instruction to better meet
      students� needs. Lessons do, for the most part, incorporate active learning,
      although it is not evident that teachers� choices of instructional techniques
      are b ased on needs revealed by individual student data.

      Under the current administration, budget decisions are transparent and informed
      by student data and goals set in the Comprehensive Education Plan. The school
      safety action plan and data regarding incidents and attendance inform staffing
      decisions in the area of student management, changes in the scanning of persons
      entering the school, clearer expectations for the deployment and actions of
      school safety personnel, and the hiring of an attendance teacher. The school is
      working hard to promote good attendance. Attendance is monitored daily. Weekly
      attendance data is distributed to all guidance personnel and a team meets
      bi-weekly to address attendance issues and follow up on home contacts and other
      actions with respect to increasing the school�s attendance rate.

      There is a pervasive pattern of caring and personal support for students by the
      adults in the building, described by one student as �going well beyond the
      typical student-teacher relationship.� Students recount numerous examples of
      teachers reaching out to help them academically, socially and emotionally. One
      student credited her mentor for not only providing tutoring so that she could
      pass the Regents, but for being her advisor regarding personal matters related
      to her immigrant status. From the principal, whose open-door policy welcomes
      students at all times, to teachers and security personnel, a culture that values
      knowing and respecting all students is immediately observable. However, there
      are not enough opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular
      activities in the arts, athletics, academics, government and other programs that
      involve them in the life of the school.

      Quality Statement 4 - Build and Align Capacity: The development of instructional
      leadership, staff, and capacity are aligned around the school�s collaboratively
      established goals for accelerating the learning of each student.
      This area of the school�s work is proficient overall.

      Since her arrival, the principal has garnered the overwhelming and enthusiastic
      support of her students, administrators, teaching staff and those parents who
      have accepted the invitation to work with her in improving the school. Her
      actions have brought about significant improvement in the school�s climate and
      culture. All constituents state that they feel safe, respected and valued. The
      principal�s open and forthright approach to individual and school problems is
      highly respected. Administrators and teachers recognize her expertise in
      instructional pedagogy and value her capacity as the instructional leader.
      Students count her among the array of caring adults who support their
      educational experience.

      During her brief tenure, hiring has been limited. The principal has criteria for
      selecting security and student management personnel that emphasize a deep caring
      for children and an understanding of techniques that are effective in reaching
      students who may be resistant to learning.

      Prior to the principal�s appointment, professional development was not the norm
      in the school. The principal and the cabinet analyzed student performance data,
      surveyed staff to determine their strengths, weaknesses and interests, and
      targeted areas for professional development. Teachers were enabled to develop
      professional growth plans that incorporated school-wide priorities, as well as
      personal goals. The principal, through her active monitoring of the building on
      a daily basis, composite observations made with the assistant principals and the
      teacher evaluation process, supports teachers in improving their instructional
      practices. Teachers are encouraged to visit one another�s classes but these
      opportunities are not scheduled often enough for them.

      Staff routinely undertake collaborative planning in teams to evaluate the impact
      of the school�s actions on achievement and attendance, to consider the
      implications of the analysis of assessment data on the curriculum and new
      techniques in instructional practice and to solve problems concerning students
      at risk. ....


      Leonie Haimson
      Class Size Matters
      124 Waverly Pl.
      New York, NY 10011

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