Children in New York City are healthier since the start of Pre-K for All, study finds

Pre-K for All improves student lives in NYC

Article Link: Children in New York City are healthier since the start of Pre-K for All, study finds

Study Link: Seeing and Hearing: The Impacts of New York City’s Universal Prekindergarten Program on the Health of Low-Income Children

Prior research suggests that high quality universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) programs can generate lifetime benefits, but the mechanisms generating these effects are not well-understood.

In 2014, New York City made all 4-year-old children eligible for high-quality UPK programs that emphasized developmental screening. We examine the effect of this program on the health and healthcare utilization of children enrolled in Medicaid using a difference-in-regression discontinuity design that exploits both the introduction of UPK and the fixed age cut-off for enrollment.

The introduction of UPK increased the probability that a child was diagnosed with asthma or with vision problems, received treatment for hearing or vision problems, or received a screening during the prekindergarten year. UPK accelerated the timing of diagnoses of vision problems.

We do not find any increases in injuries, infectious diseases, or overall utilization. These effects are not offset by lower screening rates in the kindergarten year, suggesting that one mechanism through which UPK might generate benefits is that it accelerates the rate at which children are identified with conditions that could potentially delay learning and cause behavioral problems. We do not find significant effects of having a child who was eligible for UPK on mothers’ health, fertility, or healthcare utilization.

City’s AP exam passing rates show gains, especially for black and Hispanic students

AP for All is working as planned and increasing minority participation.  Students benefit from AP classes even when they do not pass.  AP classes are commonly the student’s first introduction to College-level Rigor.

Link: City’s AP exam passing rates show gains, especially for black and Hispanic students

The number of students taking at least one AP exam in 2016 rose by nearly 3,500 students citywide, and over 1,800 more students passed an AP exam in 2016 than in the previous year.

Black and Hispanic students saw the largest gains. Participation among black students increased by over 14 percent and the number of students passing at least one AP exam increased by 18 percent. Hispanic students increased both passing and participation rates by about 10 percent.

The increased participation and passing rates are part of a trend that started before Mayor Bill de Blasio took office, but the mayor has supported expanded access to AP classes during his tenure. Last September, de Blasio announced “AP for All,” a program designed to boost the number of AP classes in schools with an eye toward making sure low-income students and students of color have equal access to the college-level courses.

A 2015 report by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School found that more than half the city’s high schools did not offer a single AP course in math and about half did not offer an AP course in science. Currently, approximately 370 of the city’s roughly 500 high schools offer at least one AP class, according to the city’s education department.

Scant Support for Elite New York High Schools’ Admissions Options

Frequent objections to the SHSAT and the NYC’s elite Gifted and Talented Schools have frequently failed.

Link : Scant Support for Elite New York High Schools’ Admissions Options

Even with significant backing, passing the bills — one in each chamber — might be difficult. The bills seek to change a 1971 law that makes the exam, known as the Specialized High School Admissions Test, the only measure that can be used to admit students to Stuyvesant High School, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School.

The law was passed to appease parents, most of them white, who were worried about Board of Education proposals to introduce other criteria to diversify the schools, as backers of the new bill want to do.

And the test remains popular in some quarters, particularly among Asian and other immigrant groups who see passing the test as an attainable steppingstone to a good college and later success. While in office, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg consistently said he saw no need to tweak the state law, known as the Hecht-Calandra Act. The new bills say the city should create an admission “power score” that would factor in a student’s grade point average, attendance and state exam scores, as well as the specialized admissions test, known as SHSAT.

City launches $1.6M plan to improve school AP class diversity

City announces AP for All, which should help the over 50% of minority students who do not have access to a single AP class at their schools.

Article Link: City launches $1.6M plan to improve school AP class diversity

City Education Department officials have launched a $1.6 million plan to bring more black and Hispanic students into Advanced Placement courses, the Daily News has learned.

The city’s new Lead Higher program aims to bring 1,400 of these students at two dozen public schools into AP classes that are often dominated by white and Asian students.

[…]

Just 7,386 black and Hispanic students passed AP exams in the 2014-15 school year, compared to 14,323 white and Asian students. Black and Hispanic kids account for roughly 70% of all city school students.

Melanie Katz, principal of Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, said she hopes the Lead Higher program will help her add another 60 black and Hispanic students to AP classes in 2017.

Record Number of NYC Students Taking College-Level AP Classes, Mayor Says

In hopes of increasing the number of students experiencing college rigor courses prior to high-school graduation access to AP is increasing.

Article Link: Record Number of NYC Students Taking College-Level AP Classes, Mayor Says

A record 44,906 students took at least one Advanced Placement, or AP class, during the 2015-16 school year, up 8.4 percent from the year before. But only 24,006 of those students passed at least one of the tests, an increase of about 8.2 percent from the number who passed the year before, officials said.

More students of color enrolled in AP classes last year as well: the number of black students taking at least one class was up by 14.1 percent and the number of Hispanic students up by 9.9 percent compared to 2015.

The Department of Education launched a campaign last year called AP for All, which aims to equip every high school to offer at least five of the more rigorous courses, for which students can earn college credits, by the fall of 2021.