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Dear Parent Leaders,

The New York City Department of Education is currently exploring ways to better inform parents about school quality, and we are reaching out for your assistance in obtaining feedback from parents about how they use this information to choose and assess schools. The Office of Research, Accountability, and Data have developed a short parent survey, and we would appreciate your assistance with distributing the survey to parents and encouraging them to complete it.

We request that parents complete the survey by March 21. We also plan to conduct focus groups with parents on March 26 and April 3 to get more detailed feedback, and the survey asks if parents are available to participate in these sessions. We would welcome as many parents and guardians as can attend.

You can access the survey here: https://survey.vovici.com/se.ashx?s=705E3ED0020246C1

In recent years, we have provided information about school quality to parents through two main sources: Progress Reports and Quality Reviews. Progress Reports evaluated schools by examining quantitative measures of student outcomes (such as graduation rates and credits students earned) and student environment, compared to other schools serving similar populations and all schools citywide. This evaluation resulted in a letter grade (A,B, C,D, F) for each school. Going forward, however, we will not be assigning letter grades to schools. The Quality Reviews are based on a 2-3 day visit to a school by an experienced educator, who observes classrooms, looks at student work, meets with teachers, families, students, and the principal, and evaluates the quality of the school’s practices. The Quality Review culminates in a public report with ratings on key indicators of school quality and an overall rating. In addition to these two sources, we also provide information to parents through the School Survey, a survey of parents, teachers, and students on the learning conditions at their school, and the School Directories, which provide information about the school’s location, building, accountability results, special supports, and admissions priorities.

We are currently thinking about how we can integrate information from the Progress Reports, Quality Reviews, and other sources to provide more useful summaries of school quality to parents. The results from this parent survey will inform our thinking about the best way to share this information in the future.

We plan to share key survey results with you and discuss how we plan to incorporate the feedback in an effort to improve the ways that we provide information about school quality to parents.

Thank you for your assistance in this important work.

Sincerely,

Division of Family and Community Engagement

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