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Report: Neighborhood Schools Lag - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


Report: Neighborhood Schools Lag


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P3300740Timothy J. Stenovec The East Village Community School and the Children’s Workshop School share a building on East 12th Street and both earned a C grade for academic performance.

Report cards are out for public schools in neighborhoods across the city and the East Village is getting the kind of grades that would cause just about any parent concern.

Of the 15 neighborhood elementary and middle schools graded as part of the city’s annual progress report, which was released on Sept. 30, only four were awarded A’s or B’s. Ten schools received C’s, and one earned a D. The scores dropped significantly compared to last year, when every East Village K-8 school earned at least an A or a B.

Failing grades for schools come with repercussions. Schools that receive low grades can face closure, and the principals of low performing schools can be fired.

Parents dropping their children off at the East Village Community School and the Children’s Workshop School recently were surprised to learn about that their schools were not making the grade.
 Both schools, which share a building on East 12th Street, got C’s this year, although the East Village Community School got D’s in “student progress” and “student performance,” two of the sub-categories that contribute to the overall grade.

“That’s not EVCS,” said Ned Eisenberg, whose 7-year-old son attends the school. “That’s another school.”

Mr. Eisenberg, said that the school was perfect for his son. 
“This school couldn’t be better,” he said. “This is like a little haven.”

Other parents, like Todd Pittman, said that the progress reports have little influence on what they think of the school. Mr. Pittman, whose 9-year-old son, Jess, is in fourth grade and has attended EVCS since kindergarten, said that the grades are “out of sync” with his experience at the school.

“What I see in the children here is their social and emotional intelligence, the way they treat each other, the sense of community, taking care of each other,” said Mr. Pittman. “I know some of the teachers here and I just think they’re terrific. It’s a very child-centered environment.”

Other parents said that they do not yet know enough about the progress reports to make a judgment. They instead graded the schools by their children’s progress.

“I just know what she’s able to do in terms reading, and math and writing,” said Haroon Rashid of his daughter, Nina, 5, who is in the first grade at the Children’s Workshop School. “I’m pleased with what she can do.”

P3300745Timothy J. Stenovec Department of Education officials attribute some of the lower grades for city schools to more difficult standardized exams.

To decide the letter grades, the city uses a methodology that measures three criteria: school environment, student performance and student progress. The Department of Education first compares these results to the results from all schools of that type within the city. Then, to determine the overall grade, the results are compared to others’ within a peer group of similar schools.

The lower grades are due in part the more difficult math and English standardized state exams, something the Department of Education is quick to point out.

“When looking at progress reports, parents should remember that both the city and state raised the bar this year, and most school grades went down,” Department of Education spokesman, Matt Mittenthal, wrote in an e-mail message.

Mr. Mittenthal acknowledged that the rating system is not perfect.

“It’s not an absolute measure of how good a school is, but it’s an exceedingly important piece — you want to encourage progress, regardless of where a school is starting from,” he said.

East Village Elementary and Middle Schools

Here is a list of 15 East Village schools and the grades that each received on the city’s annual progress report.

A

East Side Community School
Tompkins Square Middle School

B

P.S. 34 Franklin D Roosevelt
P.S. 63 William McKinley

C

East Village Community School
Girls Preparatory Charter School Of New York
Neighborhood School
P.S. 15 Roberto Clemente
P.S. 19 Asher Levy
P.S. 64 Robert Simon
P.S. 188 The Island School
P.S. 361 The Children’s Workshop School
Ross Global Academy
Technology Arts And Sciences Studio School

D

P.S. 364 Earth School

Mapping the Performance of East Village Schools


View East Village Schools in a larger map
Mapping data compiled by Matthew G. Diaz


How did your child’s school do?

Do you think these scores are an accurate measure of school performance?

Or is too much emphasis placed on the numbers?