Fact Sheet: Proposed Truncation of Academy for Social Action: A College Board School (05M367)
(to download a printable PDF of this website, click here)
To read a transcript of this hearing, click here.
We want every community to have high quality school options for families. Every fall, the Department of Education (DOE) reviews the performance of all schools Citywide. Over the past several years, despite the best efforts of the community and the DOE to support Academy for Social Action: A College Board School (“ASA”), the school has struggled to meet basic requirements for student success.
On November 30, 2012, Manhattan High School Superintendent Anthony Lodico held meetings at the school with the School Leadership Team, staff, and parents to discuss what is working at ASA, what needs to be improved, and how the community can work together to better serve students.
Based on an extensive review of qualitative and quantitative data and community feedback, the DOE has determined that ASA’s middle school grades do not have the capacity to quickly improve and is proposing that the school’s middle school grades be truncated.
Proposing to truncate a school is the most difficult decision we make. We are proposing to truncate ASA because it is the right action for current and future students in this community. If the proposal to truncate ASA is approved, the middle school grades would phase out gradually over the next several years. The truncation of the middle school grades would be complete in June 2015.
We hope you share our view that we can—and must—do better for students. The DOE will continue to work closely with ASA staff and families to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed.
Performance Summary – Middle School Grades
Proficiency: % of Students
on Grade Level
Progress Report Grades
Quality Review Rating
- The overwhelming majority of ASA middle school students remain below grade level in English Language Arts and Math. Only 8% of students were performing on grade level in English—putting the school in the bottom 1% of middle schools Citywide. Only 20% of students were performing on grade level in math—putting the school in the bottom 5% of middle schools Citywide.
- The Progress Report measures the progress and performance of students in a school, as well as the school environment, compared to other schools serving similar student populations. ASA’s middle school grades earned an F grade on the 2011-2012 annual Progress Report, including an F grade for Student Progress, a D grade for Student Performance, and an F grade for School Environment. This marks a continuation of low achievement for ASA’s middle school grades, which received an overall D grade on the 2010-2011 Progress Report.
- ASA was rated “Developing” on its most recent Quality Review in 2011-2012, indicating deficiencies in the way that the school is organized to support student learning.
- Safety issues have also been a concern at the school. On the 2011-2012 New York City School Survey, only 57% of middle school students reported feeling safe at school which puts ASA in the bottom 4% of middle schools Citywide. Middle school parent responses on the same survey question placed the school in the bottom 1% of middle schools Citywide.
- ASA’s middle school program has also experienced a recent decline in demand. Between the 2009-2010 and 2012-2013 school years, enrollment has declined by seventy-five students, or 41%.
Despite our best efforts, the school has struggled
Staff members have worked hard to improve ASA, but even with support the school has not produced adequate outcomes for students. To help the school’s efforts to improve performance, the DOE offered numerous supports, including:
- Assisting school leadership in the development of instructional plans and goals for the school year, in support of the school’s Comprehensive Education Plan.
- Supporting school leadership in aligning curriculum to citywide instructional expectations to raise standards for teacher practice and student learning.
- Coaching the principal and assistant principals in the use of classroom observations and feedback to enhance teacher effectiveness.
- Providing support and guidance to the school in tracking credit accumulation to identify students who are falling behind and target support to keep struggling students on track to graduation.
- Providing professional development for teachers in analyzing student performance data to identify learning trends, set goals and differentiate instruction to increase student achievement.
- Facilitating training and coaching for teachers in aligning instructional practices and curriculum to citywide instructional expectations.
- Supporting school staff in meeting compliance requirements for students with disabilities and English Language Learners in order to ensure that students are receiving mandated services.
- Advising school staff on budgeting, human resources, staff recruitment and building management.
- Advising the school on grant opportunities, supporting grant implementation, and working with the principal to align the budget with the school-wide instructional goals.
- Providing professional development for school staff on topics in youth development, including conflict resolution, student mediation, gang awareness and violence prevention, in order to build school-level capacity to provide social and emotional support to students.
- Assisting the school administration in the development of a school safety plan to reduce safety incidents and suspension rates, and promoting best practices for dealing with difficult behavior patterns to improve the school’s culture and learning environment.
What would the proposal mean for current students?
If this proposal is approved by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), ASA’s middle school grades would gradually phase out over the next several years, and the school would not admit new sixth-grade students after the end of the school year. All currently enrolled students would have the opportunity to continue their education at ASA and would be supported through graduation. Below are enrollment plans for current ASA students if the school were to be truncated.
- ASA will not take in a new sixth-grade class in the 2013-2014 school year. ASA will not offer seventh-grade in the 2014-2015 school year. ASA will not offer eighth grade in the 2015-2016 school year.
- Current sixth- and seventh-grade students will continue on to the next grade level at ASA in September 2013; these students can remain at ASA through their eighth-grade graduation and into ASA’s high school if they choose.
- The Office of Student Enrollment will work with the families of current sixth-grade students who do not meet promotional standards to determine an appropriate placement in another District 5 middle school or a school in the district in which the students reside.
- Current eighth-grade students will have the opportunity to graduate at the end of this school year and attend ASA’s high school if they choose.
- Current ninth through twelfth grades will not be impacted by the proposed truncation.
ASA middle school students who are held over in a grade still offered by ASA will continue to be served by that school. The Office of Student Enrollment will work with the families of ASA middle school students who are held over in a grade which is no longer offered by ASA to determine an appropriate placement in another District 5 middle school or a school in the district in which the students reside.
If the proposal to truncate ASA’s middle school grades is approved, the school would not admit new sixth-grade students after the end of this school year. ASA would continue to serve students currently enrolled in the school. In June 2015, the truncation of ASA’s middle school grades would be complete. In the 2015-2016 school year, ASA would only serve students in grades nine through twelve.
Supporting Current Students
The DOE remains focused on helping ASA students succeed. If this proposal is approved, ASA would be provided targeted, customized and intensive supports aimed at the unique needs of the school and its students. This support would be in the areas of budget, staffing, programming, community engagement, guidance and enrollment including, but not limited to:
· Helping the school provide students with options that support their advancement and fully prepare students for their next transition point,
· Working with school staff to foster a positive culture, and
· Supporting school leadership in efficiently and strategically allocating resources to ensure a consistent and coherent school environment focused on student outcomes.
Next Steps and What You Can Expect
In the next two months, the DOE will invite the ASA community to participate in a joint public hearing co-hosted by the DOE, the District 5 Community Education Council and ASA’ school leadership team. As soon as the hearing has been scheduled, we will notify you of the date and also share with you the formal truncation proposal. During the joint public hearing, community members, including parents and students, will be able to share their thoughts on the truncation proposal. There will also be a separate proposal to co-locate the middle school grades of Success Academy – Harlem in the building. Feedback on this proposal can also be shared at this Joint Public Hearing.
The proposals to truncate ASA and to co-locate Success Academy – Harlem will be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy (“PEP”), which is composed of members appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and the five Borough Presidents, during a public meeting scheduled for March 11, 2013. During this meeting, the public will have another opportunity to comment on the proposals. If the PEP approves the truncation proposal, ASA would not accept new sixth-grade students next school year.
Sharing Your Concerns and Questions
The DOE is seeking your feedback on the proposal. We will record your comments and include them in our Analysis of Public Comments, which is presented to the PEP prior to the vote on the proposal. Please submit your comments to: