Queens schools earned some faint praise from the New York Post last month after students in District 26 aced the state math tests and got the highest scores in the city for third to eighth graders.
The headline said: “Student exam scores show Manhattan has competition from other boroughs.”
It’s time that Manhattan woke up to the fact that Queens is home to the two highest-performing school districts in all of Gotham. District 26, which covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston and other parts of northeast Queens, is ranked No. 1 and has been for many years. District 25, including Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Fresh Meadows, has long occupied second place.
Queens may turn out to be the stealth borough, widely known as the most ethnically diverse county in the nation and then stealing the education spotlight. Manhattan must cede some of the bragging rights that have been earned across the East River in the schools of Queens.
U.S. News & World Report, which sets the gold standard for the country’s public schools, recently announced two Queens high schools were among the top 10 in the city and ranked above all but one of the coveted selective high schools.
Townsend Harris, based in Flushing on the Queens College campus, came in sixth on the list followed by the Queens High School for Sciences on the York College campus in Jamaica. In first place was High School of American Studies at Lehman College, a selective high school in the Bronx.
Aong the other specialized high schools, Bronx Science came in at No. 8, Brooklyn Technical High School at No. 10 and Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan at No. 11. Admission to these highly competitive schools is based solely on scores on the specialized high school test.
The two Queens high schools also stood out on the statewide rankings compiled by U.S. News, with Townsend in seventh place and Queens High School in the eighth spot. As for the top 500 schools in the entire country, Townsend was rated 44th and Queens High School 45th.
This is an impressive showing for Queens and a source of great pride in a borough associated with crowded classrooms.
Immigration has played an outsized role in these rankings.
Years ago Manhattan parents who wanted to stay in the city moved to northeast Queens for the good schools and the suburban setting. Their numbers quickly multiplied. Today these urban immigrants have been joined by people from across the globe seeking the American Dream for their children in every part of the borough.
So, eat your heart out, Manhattan. We’re leading the pack and plan to stay there.