For Immediate Release February 16, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman or Jane Briggs at (518) 474-1201
Commissioner Steiner Announces SURR Schools List
14 Schools Removed; 4 Schools Added
State Education Commissioner David Steiner today announced the removal of 14 schools from "school under registration review" (SURR) status and the addition of four schools onto the SURR list. Additionally, Commissioner Steiner announced that three schools in New York City and one school in Rochester that otherwise would have been placed on the SURR list will be phased-out and closed. SURR schools are those farthest from meeting State standards and face the possibility of closure if they do not make improvements required by the Commissioner.
Today's actions bring the total number of Schools Under Registration Review to 29 statewide, the smallest number of SURR schools since the inception of the program in 1989. Fourteen of the 29 schools are located in New York City.
Of the schools removed from registration review this year, seven were in New York City; five in Buffalo; and two in Syracuse. Of the four schools newly identified, three are in New York City and one is in Buffalo.
Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said, "While I am pleased to see that some schools have made sufficient progress to be removed from the list, I am far from satisfied. The Regents and I expect districts to continue to work with and support these schools to ensure that every child has a real opportunity to learn and to succeed."
Commissioner Steiner said, "The SURR process has served New York well, particularly in terms of improving English and math results in the lowest performing elementary and middle schools. Now we must align SURR with the process we've created for identifying and helping the Persistently Lowest Achieving schools. Doing so will focus greater attention on those schools that have had unacceptably low graduation rates for many years."
The schools identified for registration review this year are a subset of the 57 schools the Commissioner identified last month as "Persistently Lowest Achieving." Later this year, Commissioner Steiner will ask the Regents to amend their regulations to merge the SURR and Persistently Lowest Achieving processes. With the approval of the Regents, 2009-10 will be the last year in which schools are identified for registration review because they are farthest from a State standard in English language arts or mathematics and determined to be most in need of improvement. Beginning next year, graduation rates will be added as a SURR accountability criterion; schools will be identified if their combined English language arts and mathematics performance places them among the lowest achieving in the State. This change will result in a substantial increase in the number of schools that will be identified as SURR next year.
For 2008-09 school year results, the cut-points for SURR identification were raised by 15 points on the School Performance Index (SPI) for Grades 3-8 and high school English language arts and mathematics. Many of the lowest performing schools in the State showed strong gains in performance last year and, despite the increase in the cut-point, the number of schools farthest from State standards declined from 2008-09 to 2009-10. This, combined with the aggressive efforts of some districts to close low-performing schools, resulted in fewer schools being identified for registration review this year.
Since 1989, 316 schools have been identified for registration review. Of those, 242 have been removed because of improving academic performance, including 56 that have been removed in the last five years. An additional 70 schools that did not meet their performance targets have been closed by school districts, including four schools that closed last year.
The level of achievement that schools were required to demonstrate to avoid possible consideration for registration review was a Performance Index of 121 in Elementary-Middle Level English, 108 in Elementary-Middle Level math, and 131 in High School English and mathematics.
Attached are lists of schools identified for, and removed from, registration review.
SPI Definition: The SPI is computed by giving one point to a school for each student performing at Level 2 and two points for each student performing at Level 3 or 4 and dividing by the total number of students. For example, if 10 students perform at Level 1, 20 at Level 2, and 25 at Levels 3 and 4, the school's SPI will be 127 (0 + 20 + 50/55).
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New York State Board of Regents
The State Education Department / The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications / (518) 474-1201