Contact: Sharon Lee, (212) 669-3747 March 2, 2010
NEW YORK, NY - New York City Comptroller John C. Liu initiated a management audit of the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE's) annual School Progress Reports ("Progress Reports").
"The DOE places extraordinary weight on the annual Progress Reports in making decisions from school resources to even the school's very existence," Comptroller Liu said. "In an era where data has become the driving justification in such decisions, the real stakeholders -- parents, teachers, students, community at-large -- must be assured and confident about the accuracy of these high-stakes Progress Reports."
The DOE issues the Progress Reports annually to show how each of the City's public schools is performing, claiming the Reports help parents compare schools to similar (peer) schools, identify areas in which schools excel, and pinpoint areas needing improvement. According to the DOE, 85% of the Progress Report is based on student performance and progress and are thus used to chart student achievement. The Progress Reports serve as a key metric for the DOE in deciding whether a particular school will be closed.
Comptroller Liu's audit will provide an independent analysis of the integrity and reliability of the data reflected in the Progress Reports. The audit will determine whether DOE maintains adequate controls to ensure the data reflected in the DOE's annual high school progress reports are reliable, comparable and fairly reported. The audit will examine:
- data collection, compilation and reporting processes for Progress Reports
- whether Progress Report data is comparable from year to year
- whether overall measures of school progress are reported fairly.
DOE is the largest public school system in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in over 1,600 schools. Since 2003, DOE has phased out 91 schools and created 335 new schools. On January 27th, DOE’s Panel for Education Policy voted and approved the closure of 19 schools citywide, 15 of which are high schools.