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School Reform in New Haven


Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo have created a school reform initiative aimed at promoting dramatic improvements in student achievement.

Related Documents

2011 New Haven "State of the City" Address
City of New Haven, 2011 Viewicon.png

2012 New Haven "State of the City" Address
City of New Haven, 2012 Viewicon.png

A Primer on Federal, State and Local Policies that Impact School Food
New Haven Food Policy Council, 2008 Viewicon.png

CARE: Health and Academic Achievement
Community Alliance for Research and Engagement at Yale University, 2011 Viewicon.png

Cohort-based (class year to class year, and year to year) comparison of Grade 3-8 CMT scores among New Haven Public Schools, 2008 through 2011.
New Haven Public Schools, 2011 Viewicon.png

History of Achievement First
Achievement First, 2009 Viewicon.png

New Haven CMT Test Scores by School by Grade, 2008 through 2012.
New Haven Public Schools, 2012 Viewicon.png

New Haven Public Schools Overview of Survey Results, July 2010
New Haven Public Schools, 2010 Viewicon.png

New Haven Public Schools Press Release on Survey Results by School, July 19, 2010
New Haven Public Schools, 2010 Viewicon.png

New Haven School Change: Performance Goals and Preliminary 2010-2011 School Tiering Criteria (PART ONE: GOALS)
New Haven Public Schools, 2010 Viewicon.png

New Haven School Change: Performance Goals and Preliminary 2010-2011 School Tiering Criteria (PART TWO: TIERING)
New Haven Public Schools, 2010 Viewicon.png

Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion Patterns of Students from Connecticut Public High Schools
Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, 2011 Viewicon.png

Presentation on New Haven School progress measurement
Katya Levitan-Reiner of New Haven Public Schools, 2010 Viewicon.png

Resource Guide 2010-11: Programs and Services for Children and Families in New Haven.
Boost New Haven, 2010 Viewicon.png

Summary of health data collected by CARE in a randomly selected subset of the New Haven Public Schools.
Community Alliance for Research and Engagement at Yale University, 2010 Viewicon.png

Main Components of Reform


School Reform Goals, from 2010 is the baseline year and 2015 is goal year.

(1) Raise achievement -- bring student scores on CMT and CAPT exams to state averages by 2015.

(2) Cut the dropout rate in half in five years. Current officially cited rate is 27% as of 9/14/10:

(3) Ensure that 100% of graduating seniors have the choice to go to college:

(4) Make sure that students are academically prepared and financially able to complete college.

Portfolio Schools

Pilot Tiering of Schools, Announced July 2010:

Pilot Tiered Schools Present Plans for Next Year - In March of 2010, Dr. Mayo announced the seven schools to pilot the District’s new Tiering system. Since then, these schools have been working collaboratively with parents, teachers and community members on their plans. Here are some highlights of changes each school will be implementing this coming school year:

· Tier I - Edgewood Magnet School (K-8) will: bring in an arts enrichment program called Visual Literacy for grades K to 2 run by Yale's British Art Center (BAC); implement an optional, one-month summer program; and will offer workshops for parents on how to help kids transition from middle to high school

· Tier I - Davis Street Magnet School (PreK-8) will: implement a summer program; implement a college preparation program-College Ed - for grades 7 and 8; increase the amount of time spent on instruction; implement special school sessions during some holidays and breaks

· Tier II - John C. Daniels School (PreK-8) will: implement a summer program; increase the amount of time spent on instruction; and extend the school day by 45 minutes, four days a week

· Tier II - King Robinson Magnet School (PreK-8) will: implement a new honors program for grades K to 8; mandate more staff time in the cafeteria during lunch to improve behavior & relationships; implement a Positive Behavior Support system that rewards students for good behavior; and implement a college preparation program for grades 7 and 8

· Tier III (improvement)- Barnard Magnet School (PreK-8) will: implement a longer school day for teachers; teachers will join students in cafeteria for lunch; and create a "co-teaching" model to help new teachers grow

· Tier III (turn-around) - Brennan Rogers School (K-8) & Tier III (turn-around) - Urban Youth Center (6-8) will be presenting their plans at the next Board of Education Meeting on July 12th

New Haven Promise Program

"The city has an offer for freshmen in its public high schools: Keep up good grades and stay in school, and you’ll get a full ride to a state college or university. The New Haven Promise program [funded largely by Yale and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven at the outset] will pay 25 percent of the tuition for qualifying seniors who go on to public colleges or universities in Connecticut next year; 50 percent for the class after that, 75 percent for the following class; and 100 percent for the Class of 2014. Then funders will decide whether to continue the program." From New Haven Independent coverage and analysis:

The scholarship will cover tuition (for up to four years) for any New Haven resident that graduates from a New Haven public school (including public charter schools), who goes to a Connecticut in-state public 2- or 4-year college or university.

For students matriculating at Connecticut in-state private colleges or universities, New Haven Promise will contribute a maximum of $2,500 toward the total cost of education not funded by other financial aid sources.

For those students at public two-year or four-year institutions for whom other scholarships and grants cover some or all of their tuition costs, Promise will provide either the difference between tuition and the other scholarship/grants or $2,500, whichever is greater, as long as there is sufficient remaining need when considering the total cost of education and scholarships/grants from all sources.

Students are eligible for two years of scholarships for two-year institutions for up to three years after graduation from high school and for four years of scholarships for four-year institutions for up to five years after graduation from high school. In both cases enrollment must be full-time. Students moving from two- to four-year institutions are eligible for up to four years of scholarships.

Frequently asked questions on applying for Promise scholarships:

Yale University press piece:

New Haven Register analysis of New Haven and effectiveness of similar programs, such as Kalamazoo and Pittsburgh:

Hartford Courant article on New Haven Promise program, including interviews with area students (Hartford Courant, 11/10/2010):,0,692079.story

105 Promise Grads Stay Enrolled in 2nd Year of Program (New Haven Independent, 2/15/2012)

Towards Data Driven Planning and Instruction

The federal and state Departments of Education are making major investments in improving education data systems across the state and nation. The federal department is creating a National Education Data Model which will guide state and local development efforts.

The New Haven Public Schools in 2007 created the Office or Research, Assessment, and Student Information to undertake a major improvement in local data management to support improved instruction.

Role of Students and Teachers

More information on this can be found at the NHPS website.

Other Resources

Results of New Haven School Climate Survey

See NHPS School Change Initiative Documents, at and and for comprehensive and school-by-school results. These links were active to data on the 2010, 2011, and 2012 surveys but may change going forward.

Background from 2010 Survey Material

From 2010 Survey material: In Spring 2010, the New Haven Mayor and Superintendent launched the city's first annual School Learning Environment survey. The survey collected feedback from students (in grades 5-12), teachers and parents about the academic expectations, communication, engagement, safety and respect, and collaboration in their schools. The questions were designed by a committee of teachers, parents and administrators in an effort to give school leaders and school communities constructive information they can use to improve their schools. 82% of teachers, 88% of students, and 23% of parents responded to the survey. We are excited about the incredibly high turnout of teachers and students, but are disappointed in the parent response rate. Increasing parent participation will be a major focus for the survey team next year.

The good news:

· Overall, parents are satisfied or very satisfied with important aspects of their child's education including the child's teacher (86.1 percent) and the education their child is receiving (82.9 percent).

· Students generally feel connected, challenged and cared about at school. (90.1 percent of students in the district strongly agree or agree that their teachers believe they are capable of learning and 76.2 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing that "there is at least one adult who knows me well.")

· Overall, teachers feel professionally supported by and work collaboratively with their colleagues. (80.1 percent of teachers in the district strongly agreed or agreed that teachers learn from each other in their school and 87.1 reported that they agreed or strongly agreed that they felt supported by other teachers.)

We also received feedback about areas that need some work:

· Parent engagement remains a challenged. While 78.3 percent of parents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with opportunities for involvement in their child's education, the majority of parents indicated that they rarely or never participate in key school-based activities.

· There is a need to improve student culture around academic performance. While parents and teachers believed schools set high expectations for students, only 46.1 percent of students indicated that students who get good grades in their school are respected by other students.

· There is significant variation in teachers' opinions about their schools. For instance, in 10 Elementary/Middle schools and 5 High Schools, 75 percent or more teachers strongly agreed or agreed that they would recommend their school while in 11 other Elementary/Middle schools, only 34 percent or fewer teachers strongly agreed or agreed that they would recommend their school.

News Items Related to School Reform in New Haven

1. New Haven Independent coverage of school reform: This ongoing series of articles by Paul Bass and the other reporters at the NHI covers everything from civic involvement, to program measurement to political relationships.

2. DC Schools Chief Resigns, Doubts She'll Return to Leadership Role (NPR News)

3. Excel or fail: New Haven teachers to be graded soon (New Haven Register, 10/25/2010)

4. New Reports Highlight Potential Policy Solutions to Connecticut Achievement Gap, CT Data Blog, January 2011, . Contains discussion of New Haven School Reform priorities.