NEST & P.S. 276 ranked high in reading despite ‘common core’ drops

District Borough/School Number Tested 2013 Number in 3&4 Lv 2013 Rank 2012 Rank Drop (Gain) from 2012 2011 Rank 2010 Rank 2009 Rank 2008 Rank 2007 Rank 2006 Rank
1 NEST 107 106 1 5 (4) 3 3 1 9 5 6
2 P.S. 276 60 41 16 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 P.S. 150 27 18 26 7 19 56 57 1 11 49 8
2 Yung Wing (P.S. 124) 144 91 31 62 (31) 97 56 110 44 28 47
1 Shuang Wen (PS 184) 70 44 32 69 (37) 12 33 29 11 3 14
2 P.S. 89 86 52 42 43 (1) 48 33 69 75 45 25
2 P.S. 130 160 96 45 97 (52) 73 18 55 51 63 114
2 P.S. 234 166 99 47 54 (7) 40 31 8 22 13 55
2 P.S. 1 71 25 199 265 (66) 299 205 185 190 128 187
2 M.A.T. (P.S. 126) 56 13 346 240 106 167 384 371 115 346 376
District Borough/School 2013 Lv 3&4 % 2012 Lv 3&4 % 2011 Lv 3&4 % 2010 Lv 3&4 % 2009 Lv 3&4 % 2008 Lv 3&4 % 2007 Lv 3&4 % 2006 Lv 3&4 %
1 NEST 99.07 97.1 99 98.6 100 97 98 98.3
2 P.S. 276 68.33 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 P.S. 150 66.67 96.3 81.5 76.9 100 96.2 87.5 95.7
2 Yung Wing (P.S. 124) 63.19 81.8 73.8 77.2 87.2 90.9 90.1 87.2
1 Shuang Wen (PS 184) 62.86 80.6 92.8 83.1 96.3 96.2 98.1 93.9
2 P.S. 89 60.47 85.5 83 83.1 90.6 86.6 87.9 91.3
2 P.S. 130 60.00 77.1 78.7 88.2 92.1 89.2 83.8 78.7
2 P.S. 234 59.64 84.1 84.7 83.6 99.1 94.5 94.8 86.1
2 P.S. 1 35.21 59.1 54.7 57.1 81.2 74.7 75 71.1
2 M.A.T. (P.S. 126) 23.21 61.2 66.1 40.4 69.6 82.1 55.9 55.4

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED Aug 20, 2013 |  BY KAITLYN MEADE || Despite panic this month over the Department of Education’s recently released “common-core” test scores, Lower Manhattan’s elementary schools remain some of the best in the city, according to data compiled by C.P.A. and Community Board 1 member Tom Goodkind.

In fact, the public schools all ranked in the top half throughout New York City, and all but two of them were in the top ten percent of schools when comparing fourth grade English Language Arts scores.

For the twelfth year, Goodkind has compiled a chart that compares the reading scores of fourth graders in traditional schools; charters and private schools were not included. Fourth-graders’ standardized test scores are considered vital in determining a school’s rank because they are often the most important factor in middle school applications.

“I think we’re the toughest on our children in the universe,” Goodkind said only half in jest. “We determine their futures based on their fourth grade E.L.A. test.”

The rankings measure how many students scored “above average,” meaning in the third and fourth quadrants (the average is the junction between the second and third quadrants).

While some results were expected — the top school in the city, New Explorations in Science, Technology and Math (NEST), is a gifted and talented school in District 1’s Lower East Side and has been in the top six schools since 2006 — other schools ranked remarkably well. P.S. 276 ranked 16 in the city in its very first fourth-grade test year.

“That’s amazing results considering it’s the first year the test was taken,” said Goodkind.

The Battery Park City School, which moved into its new building in 2010, had about 68 percent of its students score in the top two quadrants in 2013, the best of any District 2 public school below Canal St.

P.S. 150, which may be relocated from Tribeca to Chelsea, dropped from seven to 26. Goodkind said it was a normal fluctuation; especially with such a small class size, each score matters more to the average than in larger schools. It is still considered to be in the top tier of schools.

The only other area school that dropped in the ranks was the Manhattan Academy of Technology, which moved 106 spots down the list from 240 to 346, identical to its rank in 2007. Only 23 percent of their students scored above average. M.A.T. still scored better than more than half of the 723 city schools used in Goodkind’s analysis, however.

Other Downtown elementary schools gained, including P.S. 89 in B.P.C., P.S. 130 in Chinatown and P.S. 234 in Tribeca, which ranked within a few places of one another at 42, 45 and 47, respectively. About 60 percent of their students scored in the top quadrants.

P.S. 89 and 234 have scored similarly since 2010, and have been in competition since they were ranked the city’s best elementary schools in 2002, said Goodkind. Both schools still consistently send students to top middle schools in New York City.

Chinatown’s Yung Wing and the Lower East Side’s Shuang Wen schools did well, ranking 31 and 32, while P.S. 1 in Chinatown jumped 66 places and into the top 200 schools in the city.

The congruity in numbers also shows that while the test may change — and as the Department of Education warned, individual scores may drop — a good school is still a good school. And Downtown has some of the best.

“No matter how hard or easy the test is that year, you can still compare schools,” Goodkind said. “This is stabilizing.”

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