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In a new report, the IBO updates a treasure trove of schools data

For the second time since becoming the Department of Education’s official data monitor, the city’s Independent Budget Office has released a mountain of numbers.

The latest version of the IBO’s Public School Indicators” report compiles data about student demographics, space-sharing arrangements, budget allocations, principal and teacher characteristics, and student performance. While much of the data has appeared elsewhere, the new report collects multiple datasets in one place.

Not much has changed dramatically since the IBO’s first indicators report, released in September 2011. But the new version of the report relies on data that the IBO says was more accurate than the data it was given in 2011 and updates the facts and figures to include data from the 2011-2012 school year.

The new version also includes information for the first time about graduates of one of the city’s newest principal training programs.

Of the Leadership in Education Apprenticeship Program’s 68 graduates in 2012, 25 became principals in the system. They were slightly more likely than graduates of other programs to work in schools with relatively few poor students, and significantly less likely to be women.

Among the many other highlights:

  • Teachers and principals are staying longer in their schools, and in the system. More than a quarter of the 135 new principals in the 2000-2001 school year left their schools after one year, and 7 percent left the system overall. For the 172 principals who entered the system in the 2010-2011 school year, 13 percent left after one year (up slightly over the previous four years) and just 1 percent completely abandoned the system. For teachers, 20 percent left their school after one year in 2011, down from 32 percent in 2001.
  • Once again, poor students at relatively affluent schools outperformed relatively affluent students at schools with many poor students.
  • More than half (53 percent) of the 2,820 teachers who started in the system in 2010 were special education teachers. The rate was highest for Teach for America teachers, at 80 percent, and lowest for teachers who came from traditional teacher preparation programs, at 49 percent
  • Students who attended school more than 98 percent of the time in 2011-2012 were 7.5 times more likely to score at the highest level on the state’s reading test than students who attended school less than 90 percent of the time. They were nearly six times more likely to score at the highest level on the state math exam.

The IBO first gained access to Department of Education data after state legislators designated the office as a watchdog scrutinizing student achievement and financial information in the 2009 law reauthorizing mayoral control. Its analysis was meant to serve as a check on Mayor Bloomberg’s power to control data about school performance and the system overall. But recently, UFT President Michael Mulgrew has said more needs to be done to scrutinize the department’s claims.

Raymond Damonico, the IBO’s director of education research, supervised the report’s creation.

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