Identifying countries on a map or elements on the periodic table is no sweat for more New York City students this year.
According to an announcement by the Department of Education (DOE) last week, across-the-board NYC students scored higher on the state’s social studies and science tests in tests taken in 2007-08. These results were part of the annual school report cards released by the DOE on Wednesday, April 22.
“Two years ago, we made improving the quality of science and social studies instruction in every school one of our top priorities,” said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. “We will continue to provide our teachers with new curriculum resources in the coming years to help them build on these gains.”
For the social studies test, taken by fifth and eighth graders, scores increased 12.3 percentage points from 61.7 percent in 2006-07 to 73.9 percent for fifth graders in 2007-08 and 8.4 percentage points, from 30.3 percent to 38.7 percent, for eighth graders during the same time period.
For the science test, taken by fourth and eighth graders, scores increased 1.2 percentage points from 73 percent in 2006-07 to 74.2 percent for fourth graders in 2007-08 and 9.8 percentage points, from 41.7 percent to 51.5 percent, for eighth graders during the same period.
DOE officials told The Queens Courier that, to adapt to the new curriculum, the social studies and science tests given to students was also new.
Corona Principal Pat Baratta of P.S. 92 said that he felt like “jumping up and down” when he heard the news.
“I’m thrilled! The kids really work hard and so do the teachers,” said the principal of 847 students. “We focused on a lot of hands-on experiments in classes and the science teachers helped with the science based reading and vocabulary.”