Online powerhouse Mashable delves deep and wide into our College March, which has become a growing, nationwide ritual that celebrates the perseverance of seniors as they navigate their college readiness and application process.
- 97% of our 2015 graduates were accepted to college.
- 84% of our high school students graduate within 4 years.
- 75% of our students are eligible for free/reduced lunch.
Our schools primarily serve a high-needs population from neighborhoods where access to high-quality education has historically been lacking. 75% of our students qualify for free/reduced lunch. 21% are classified as having special education needs. Our students are predominantly Hispanic (39%) and African-American (33%).
Our students enter far behind grade level in key subject areas. Only 22% of our incoming 9th graders were proficient in English Language Arts (ELA) and 14% were proficient in Math. In addition, just 27% of our incoming 6th graders were proficient in ELA and just 37% in math. In all cases, our incoming proficiency rates were lower than the citywide averages.
Our high school graduation rates significantly outpace the city average. Our network’s 84% graduation rate (2015) far outpaces the City’s rate of 70%.
We are helping to close the achievement gap. Our 84% graduation rate for black students in 2015 beat the 82% citywide graduation rate for white students, and our Hispanic students came close to reaching that mark with a graduation rate of 78%.
College acceptances were very high among our graduates and approached our organizational goal of 100%. 97% of our 2015 graduates were accepted to college. More than half of our high schools had 100% college acceptance rates.
Our 2015 graduates are attending a range of colleges including Dartmouth, Brandeis, Bard, Hampshire, NYU, Skidmore, Sarah Lawrence, Fordham, Trinity, Howard and Middlebury, as well as the full range of SUNY and CUNY schools, among others.
Our students’ college enrollment continues to increase. The 6-month college enrollment rate of our graduates went from 67% to 78%, surpassing our strategic plan goal of 75%.
Our network schools consistently performed well on NYC Department of Education accountability measures:
- 96% of the time, our schools received the highest or second highest rating in their most recent Department of Education Quality Reviews, compared to 63% of schools citywide. And 56% of the time, our schools received the highest score possible compared to just 17% of schools citywide.
Teachers consider our schools “great places to work”. Teacher retention across our network is high with 89% of teachers returning for the 2014-2015 school year. As a result of multiple years of high teacher retention, the average years of teaching experience for our network teachers has also gone up significantly from 4.5 in 2010-11 to 7.2 this past school year.
Our Crew Orientation program had a positive effect on school culture and provided students with opportunities for personal and interpersonal growth. All incoming 6th and 9th grade students participate in our 3-5 day Crew Orientation. Post-course, 96% of students agreed or strongly agreed that “Crew Orientation helped me feel more confident about learning new skills.” Similarly, 96% agreed or strongly agreed that during Crew Orientation they "learned new approaches to taking on challenges.” And 100% of Crew Advisors agreed that "As a result of what I learned on Crew Orientation, I will be able to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for my Crew back at school."
Our students produce high-quality work and real-world products. Our students are required to examine real-world problems that need real-world solutions. They must think critically and creatively, synthesize complex information, and find solutions to 21st-century problems. These solutions are reflected in the real-world products they create - like water quality analyses presented to local and national elected officials, a published guide for new immigrants to help them transition to American culture, playground design concepts presented to architectural firms with city contracts, and public transportation proposals for MTA and public officials.
Our schools are increasingly recognized for their innovation and as models for others. Metropolitan was selected to be a host school as part of the NYC Department of Education's Learning Partner program which partners middle schools that employ exemplary practices with either new schools or schools in need of improvement. WHEELS was profiled on PBS as a successful school where individualized attention, an ethos of support, and strong sense of community has helped propel its 98% Latino student body toward academic and personal success. Hahn was spotlighted by the UFT as a school offering a model for “how high schools can be places where parents, communities, students, educators and other stakeholders can collaborate to achieve the best outcomes for students”. And Joshua Steckel, BCS’ College Counselor and co-author of Hold Fast to Dreams, and several of his former students were featured on the Leonard Lopate Show and at a New School event titled "Working Towards College Success: Obstacles and Strategies."
Our schools are breaking ground in the area of performance-based assessment. Four of our schools—Baldwin, BCS, Leaders and Hahn—are part of the New York State Performance Consortium and receive waivers from the State allowing them to evaluate students using in-depth college preparatory projects in place of the Math, Science, and Social Studies Regents.
Our schools are leading the way in implementing school-based restorative justice practices. WNYC's education reporter Beth Fertig profiled Leaders as a school where restorative justice practices are taking root. Baldwin principal Brady Smith, penned an opinion piece for the Gotham Gazette encouraging the new City administration to support the growth of restorative practices in schools. And on the prevention side, Leaders was spotlighted on ABC for their highly successful peer mediation program aimed at ensuring that low-level conflicts are addressed early on so that all students feel safe and supported at school.
"This Educational Leadership Award... really goes to NYC Outward Bound, which does truly extraordinary work in the field of education."
-Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
“NYC Outward Bound is…defying the lie, defying the myth, defying the stereotypes about what children can and cannot do.”
—Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
"Last week I visited [NYC Outward Bound's] Leaders School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which is a glowing example of community cohesion... Students are given tremendous responsibility, and are put in challenging social circumstances that call forth compassion, judgment, sensitivity and mercy... Most of all I was struck by their kindness toward one another. No student could remember any racial or ethnic conflict. Many upperclassmen serve as peer mentors to the underclassmen. There’s a palpable sense of being cared for. That’s in part because the school has a wide definition of student achievement."
-David Brooks, Columnist, NYTimes
"What NYC Outward Bound does is create a sense of self-possession and a sense of ownership over what one does and over one's path - which is the key to so much of what works in education and, I dare say, to what works in life."
-NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
“NYC Outward Bound, we think the world of you. We think you are outstanding: all the energy, all the work and the vision that you have -- but more importantly, your partnership with the Department of Education will allow our students to grow and prosper and be successful adults."
-former NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott
“This kind of innovative school…is an example of how all our schools should be.”
—President Obama after visiting an Expeditionary Learning school in Washington D.C.
“Outward Bound’s involvement with the creation of new schools has had a direct impact of the success of our students. I appreciate your support as we build on our vision for public education: that all students will be given the tools they need to succeed in and out of the classroom.”
—Joel Klein, former Chancellor, NYC Department of Education
"In the years that I’ve been teaching, [EL Education is] the single best model of learning for kids and the most satisfying model for teachers, because the kids are working on real projects, their work holds great value, and you are stretching them academically."
—Jennifer Wood, teacher
“When you walk through the NYC Outward Bound schools, you really do get the sense that these kids are working with very high expectations, that they really are being pushed and prepared for college in all the ways possible.”
—Adam Tucker, Senior Program Officer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mashable Captures Growing Spirit of College March December 13, 2015
Roger Clark's Extensive College March Coverage December 12, 2015
NY1's morning show host Roger Clark spent his day at our school Brooklyn Collaborative (BCS), where he hosted two live segments - one with students from BCS and Leaders, as well as our President Richard Stopol; and a second with students from BCS & MELS as well as BCS Principal Scill Chan. After filming the morning segments, he continued to follow the day's events and compiled them into a full segment, which ran throughout the day.
Ed Week Celebrates College March December 11, 2015
Education Week's Learning Deeply series devoted an entire week of blogs to the topic of college success, and to the College March. The blogs were penned by educators from across the EL Education networks. EL Education is our partner in teaching.