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State’s school assessments prove harsher than city’s – QNS.com

State’s school assessments prove harsher than city’s

By Alex Christodoulides

In the high-performing District 25 in the Flushing and Whitestone area, for instance, the state listed two schools as “in need of improvement” in English language arts – JHS 185 Edward Bleeker and JHS 189 Daniel Carter Beard – both of which received a B on their city Department of Education report cards. The state classified IS 237 on Colden Street in Flushing, which also scored a B on its city report card, as “in corrective action.” And Fresh Meadows' JHS 168 Parsons, which was not graded by the city, was issued a stern assessment of “requiring academic progress” in English language arts and math. And in District 26, the borough's other top district, covering Bayside, Little Neck and Douglaston, JHS 216 George Ryan on 175th Street near Utopia Parkway scored a B on the city report card but was slapped with “requiring academic progress” for its English language arts.The classifications – in need of improvement, requiring academic progress and in corrective action, with “in good standing” as the state's OK – are tied to federal No Child Left Behind funds. Schools are assessed by third through eighth graders' progress on math and English tests from one year to the next, with particular scrutiny of low-income students, those with disabilities, those learning English, and the racial and ethnic makeup in grades three through eight wherever there are groups of at least 30 such students. In previous years, the testing covered grades four through eight, making for higher concentrations of such students in many schools, the state Board of Education said.The city and state assessments used different criteria, with the city weighing students' improvement in its grades, and the state looking at math and English language arts test scores in the third through eighth grades.No district in Queens was exempt from the state Board of Education's scrutiny. Some schools on the state list had received grades of C, D and F from the city as well. District 30's PS 151 Mary Carter in Woodside got an F from the city, and the state Board of Education was in agreement, ranking it as “in need of improvement.” PS 112 Dutch Kills in Astoria got a D from the city, and the Board of Education called it “in need of improvement.” In District 28, covering Jamaica and Forest Hills, JHS 190 Russell Sage and PS 144 Jeromus Remsen in Forest Hills got Cs from the city and “requiring academic progress” from the state. The elementary school PS 30 in Jamaica got a D in November on its report card, and the state agreed, classifying it as “in need of improvement.” And PS 54 Hillside in Kew Gardens was “in need of improvement” in its English language arts scores, which correlated with the city's grade of C in November.The surprises came when the state and the city seemed to disagree on the assessment. The Board of Education classified JHS 157 Stephen Halsey, also in District 28 as “requiring academic progress” but it got a B from the city's Department of Education in November. PS 86 in District 28 garnered an A from the city in November but the state thought its English language arts scores were “in need of improvement.”District 27 covering Ozone Park and the Rockaways, which overall did not fare well in the city's assessment in November, found itself in better standing with the state. There were still schools that made both lists, though.PS 223 Lyndon Johnson in District 27 got a city grade of C and an “in need of improvement” from the state. JHS 210 Elizabeth Blackwell, which got a C from the city, and MS 137 America's School of Heroes, to which the city awarded a B, were both classified by the state as “in corrective action.” Another B school, JHS 202 Robert Goddard, was slapped with a “requiring academic progress” assessment by the state.The schools mentioned here are a partial list of those the state concluded needed work in order to comply with No Child Left Behind guidelines. A more complete list is available at www.timesledger.com.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodoulides@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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