Two months after the Department of Education released 2007-2008 progress reports for elementary and middle schools, grades for high schools are now available online.

Why the delay? After all, Insideschools points out that this year’s eighth graders have just weeks before they must submit their high school applications. The high school report cards are based on some measures, such as graduation rate and Regents exam passing rates, that are not available until late in the summer.

We’ll take a closer look at the grades, of course, but at first glance it appears that high schools joined elementary and middle schools in getting higher grades, but that high schools’ grades didn’t change by as much. (Large movement from last year to this year was not uncommon for elementary and middle schools.)

A few highlights from the DOE’s press release:

  • Fifty-seven percent of schools moved up at least one letter grade or attained an A for the second year in a row.
  • Eighty-six percent of the schools that earned As last year earned As again this year. Of the 57 schools that earned As last year, 49 received As this year and 8 received Bs.
  • Seventy-five percent of the schools that earned Ds and Fs last year rose at least one letter grade, and more than one-third of these schools improved enough to earn a B.

The DOE has also made available detailed data for each school, including how this year’s grade compares to last year’s.