Albany Promise Report Card on Student Achievement

Albany Promise formed in 2012 with the goal of improving student achievement. The group is a partnership that includes UAlbany, the city school district, and the mayor's office. Two years later it released its 2014 Albany Promise Report Card. Madeleine Rivera has more on what was included in that report.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "We can't live with a 50 percent graduation rate. We can't have 30 percent of our kids or less, meeting or exceeding reading standards for third grade," said Albany Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard.

Albany Superintendent Marguerite Wyngaard doesn't deny the student achievement gaps in her school district. In an effort to close those gaps, several education and community leaders met in 2012 and formed the Albany Promise. Its goal: promote student achievement through collaboration.

"The big effort here is that we are coordinating our strategies. We're only using those strategies that we know work," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

Those strategies were revealed Wednesday, when the 2014 Albany Promise Report Card was released. Since launching, the partnership has created three action teams, often made up of direct service providers who work with students. The teams are tasked with promoting success in early childhood, third grade literacy and fourth grade math, and college and career readiness.

"We've brought together all the people that touch our children's lives. We are focused on: how do we ensure we get the right intervention for the right kids" said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

Albany Promise heavily relies on data to monitor their as well as students' success.

"We're shifting to be a results driven organization. Data is the only way we can go to talk about that," said Wyngaard.

Last year, they assessed the literacy of all kindergartners. They'll use that data to as a baseline against which they can measure progress each year. Albany Promise also says they've raised SAT participation level from 53 to 82 percent. It's a statistic which advocates aligns with their goal of making sure students are ready for college.

"That's part of the reason we have an interest in doing this because it's going to impact our bottom line," said UAlbany President Robert Jones.

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