A New Way to Look at High School Ratings

March 12, 2013 Updated: October 1, 2015

NEW YORK—New York City collects more data on its school system than any other major city in the nation. Since as early as 2007, this data has been available to the public in the form of progress reports.

But these reports do not tell the whole picture, according to Insideschools, a nonprofit, independent guide to the city’s public schools.

A screenshot of the Insidestats feature displaying the "Safety & Vibe" tab for the High School of Hospitality Management. (Insideschools.org)

Insideschools introduced a new feature on its website called Insidestats on March 12. The tool makes it possible to zero in on the high school statistics that the organization believes matter most. 

Students and parents can now view several metrics in categories such as “Safety & Vibe,” “Who Graduates,” “College Prep,” and “Special Ed & ELL.” In many instances, schools rated with straight As by the Department of Education (DOE) progress report are not as flawless when viewed using Insidestats.

For example, the High School of Fashion Industries received straight As in all categories and an A overall on the DOE’s progress report. But when viewed using Insidestats, the school’s shortcomings in college preparation are apparent: only 4 percent of the students took an advanced-placement class and passed the exam, and only 9 percent took a college course and scored a C or higher.

In another example, the High School of Hospitality Management received an overall A on the DOE progress report, but a view via the Insideschools website reveals that 43 percent of the students in the school are chronically absent, well above the 28-percent citywide average.

The new tool was released just in time for the first round of high school admissions results, due to be released on March 15. The approximately 8,000 students who are not accepted into any of the schools they chose on their applications will be given a list of schools that still have space available. Insideschools plans to release a list of ratings for these schools with vacancies in order to help students and parents make well-informed choices.

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