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Rise & Shine: What Asian-American alumni are saying about the specialized high school debate

Good morning!

Last week, city officials took a victory lap to tout a 1.7 percentage point increase in the city's graduation rate, bringing it to 76 percent. But a deeper look at the data shows that most of last year's increase is directly attributable to changes in the state's graduation requirements — not boosts in student learning.

That doesn't mean the graduation rate is a totally worthless measure — just that it is a less sturdy barometer of the mayor's recent education initiatives than officials would like to admit.

Also in today's roundup, Chancellor Carranza testified in front of state lawmakers for the first time and offered a critique of Gov. Cuomo's budget proposal, and the New York Times asked Asian-American graduates of specialized high schools to weigh in on the mayor's plan to scrap the sole admissions test.

Enjoy!

Alex Zimmerman, reporter

GETTING TO GRADUATION Officials recently touted a 1.7 point increase in New York City’s graduation rate, 1.2 of which can be directly attributed to changes in state graduation standards. Chalkbeat

FUNDING FEUD Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest proposal to reconfigure which schools receive boosts in state funding. Chalkbeat, Wall Street Journal

TALKING SHSAT Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to scrap the entrance exam at eight specialized high schools would reduce the number of Asian students offered admission. Here’s what a diverse group of Asian-American graduates think of the mayor’s proposal. New York Times

RESEARCH REVIEW Here is what 10 years of research on school closures tells us about whether they’re good for students or communities. Chalkbeat

NEW CONTRACT Occupational and physical therapists narrowly voted to approve a new contract, but some members say it doesn’t do enough to close the gap in compensation with other school personnel. WNYC 

LUNCH TIME Dozens of New York City schools serve lunch before 11 a.m. — a problem education department officials say they’re trying to tackle. City Limits

TEACHER EVALUATIONS Opinion: One city teacher argues the latest teacher evaluation reform still places too much emphasis on tests. City Limits