facts and figures

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

This chart, showing that New York City teachers are staying longer in their schools and in the system, is one of dozens in the Independent Budget Office’s new “Public School Indicators” report.
This chart, showing that New York City teachers are staying longer in their schools and in the system, is one of dozens in the Independent Budget Office’s new “Public School Indicators” report.

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.

What's Your Education Story?

As the 2018 school year begins, join us for storytelling from Indianapolis educators

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy/Chalkbeat
Sarah TeKolste, right, and Lori Jenkins at a Teacher Story Slam, in April.

In partnership with Teachers Lounge Indy, Chalkbeat is hosting another teacher story slam this fall featuring educators from across the city.

Over the past couple of years, Chalkbeat has brought readers personal stories from teachers and students through the events. Some of our favorites touched on how a teacher won the trust of her most skeptical student, why another teacher decided to come out to his students, and one educator’s call to ramp up the number of students pursuing a college education.

The event, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, is free and open to the public — please RSVP here.

Event details:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Get tickets here and find more on Facebook

More in What's Your Education Story?

School safety

Hiring more security officers in Memphis after school shootings could have unintended consequences

PHOTO: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tennessee’s largest district, Shelby County Schools, is slated to add more school resource officers under the proposed budget for next school year.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson earmarked $2 million to hire 30 school resource officers in addition to the 98 already in some of its 150-plus schools. The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget Tuesday.

But an increase in law enforcement officers could have unintended consequences.

A new state law that bans local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials could put school resource officers in an awkward position.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen recently reminded school personnel they are not obligated to release student information regarding immigration status. School resource officers employed by police or sheriff’s departments, however, do not answer to school districts. Shelby County Schools is still reviewing the law, but school board members have previously gone on the record emphasizing their commitment to protecting undocumented students.

“Right now we are just trying to get a better understanding of the law and the impact that it may have,” said Natalia Powers, a district spokeswoman.

Also, incidents of excessive force and racial bias toward black students have cropped up in recent years. Two white Memphis officers were fired in 2013 after hitting a black student and wrestling her to the ground because she was “yelling and cussing” on school grounds. And mothers of four elementary school students recently filed a lawsuit against a Murfreesboro officer who arrested them at school in 2016 for failing to break up a fight that occurred off-campus.

Just how common those incidents are in Memphis is unclear. In response to Chalkbeat’s query for the number and type of complaints in the last two school years, Shelby County Schools said it “does not have any documents responsive to this request.”

Currently, 38 school resource officers are sheriff’s deputies, and the rest are security officers hired by Shelby County Schools. The officers respond and work to prevent criminal activity in all high schools and middle schools, Hopson said. The 30 additional officers would augment staffing at some schools and for the first time, branch out to some elementary schools. Hopson said those decisions will be based on crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods and school incidents.

Hopson’s initial recommendation for more school resource officers was in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and sparked a wave of student activism on school safety, including in Memphis.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s recent $30 million budget boost would allow school districts across Tennessee to hire more law enforcement officers or improve building security. Measures to arm some teachers with guns or outlaw certain types of guns have fallen flat.


For more on the role and history of school resource officers in Tennessee, read our five things to know.


Sheriff’s deputies and district security officers meet weekly, said Capt. Dallas Lavergne of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. When the Memphis Police Department pulled their officers out of school buildings following the merger of city and county school systems, the county Sheriff’s Office replaced them with deputies.

All deputy recruits go through school resource officer training, and those who are assigned to schools get additional annual training. In a 2013 review of police academies across the nation, Tennessee was cited as the only state that had specific training for officers deployed to schools.