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Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Tue, Jun 10, 2008

CFE Report on New York City's Approved SY2007-08 Contract for Excellence

Approved Contract better focused; still fell short of CFE distribution principles

CFE conducted an analysis of the final distribution of $258 million in Contract money to 1,072 New York City schools based on data available from the New York State School Report Cards and the Department of Education’s (DOE) website. These schools represent 73 percent of the 1,470 schools that were included in the public account of the DOE’s distribution of Fair Student Funding as of May 2007. CFE’s findings indicate that, compared with previous proposed distributions, the Approved Contract better focused Contract dollars on the neediest students in the lowest-performing schools. Despite this improvement, the distribution fell short of matching the principles that CFE believes should govern distribution.

CFE analyzed Contract dollar expenditures separately according to each of three school demographic indicators: Percent Poverty in 2006, Percent English language learners in 2006-07, and Percent Students with Disabilities in Self-Contained Classrooms; and two performance factors: Percent Scoring at Levels 3 and 4 on the grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) assessment and graduation rate for the 2002 Cohort. These indicators served as proxies for those measures of student need required by State Education Commissioner’s Regulations. The results of these analyses are reported in tables in the full report.

The relationship between poverty and performance is strong. The Contract for Excellence is intended to mitigate this relationship and provide those children with the greatest risk of educational failure the resources to succeed. Some schools with exceptionally high poverty rates are already performing above the City and State averages. Of those 361 schools in the highest quartile of poverty—85.0 percent or greater—20 met or exceeded the percentage of students scoring at Levels 3 and 4 statewide (63.4 percent) and 2 met or exceeded the statewide graduation rate for the 2002 cohort (67 percent). A larger number of these schools (40) were able to meet or exceed the percentage of students scoring at Levels 3 and 4 in New York City (50.8 percent) or the current State graduation standard of 55 percent (six schools did so ).

Because the analyses presented in CFE's report examine the five indicators separately, a school judged not eligible for Contract dollars on one indicator may be found eligible on another. Therefore, the report also provides composite results showing the number of schools that qualify on at least one indicator, the number of those schools that received Contract dollars, and, finally, the number of schools that received Contract dollars but did not qualify on any indicator. Schools were judged to qualify for funding if their scores on at least one indicator placed them in one of the two school categories with the greatest need on that indicator.

The report's final subsection provides recommendations for determining the eligibility of schools to receive Contract dollars.

Download the Report (pdf).
Download Appendix A: School Level Allocations and Data by Community School District (pdf).

Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >