Week of February 22, 2021

Dear Families,

Last year, the NY State Ed Department identified our school as in need of Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) for the 2019-20 school year based on the 2018-19 performance of one or more student “accountability subgroups” on the state tests.  We have a minimal number of students in each subgroup because approximately 80% of TNS students opt out of the state tests each year, and in fact, the state needs to use three years of test data to create subgroups of at least 30 students.  As a result of changes in how the state calculates opt-outs, schools with high opt-out numbers are penalized.  

Parents have chosen our school because of our teaching and learning approach, which includes not interrupting rich and meaningful curriculum to do months of test prep.  Many of our parents have taken an active and outspoken stance to reject the state tests, as is their right.  Of course, we’re not perfect.  We are continually working to improve instruction through on-going professional development.  We also use multiple “data sources” to inform our work with children.  But the state testing data is not one of them.  Moreover, state test data from 27 (out of 117) children who did no test prep cannot cull meaningful information about our school.

One consequence of our TSI status is that the city has intensified scrutiny of school-wide goals, as detailed in our Comprehensive Education Plan.  We meet quarterly to monitor progress towards these goals.  

Please join the PTA meeting tomorrow at 5:00 PM for a critical community discussion about TSI, the implications of this designation, and how we can advocate for our children, values, and school.

Warmly,

Dyanthe

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