Volume 20 Issue 6 | June 22 - 28, 2007

Math numbers high for Downtown schools

By Anindita Dasgupta

Downtown schools’ numbers were high in the state math test results released last week.

Just as Downtown schools outscored the rest of the city on the state English Language Arts exam, Downtown students topped the charts with their math scores.

High scoring schools include New Explorations into Science Technologies and Math and Shuang Wen School, with almost 100 percent of each grade passing the exam, which requires scoring three or four. P.S. 124, P.S. 130, P.S. 150 and P.S. 234 also did well — over 90 percent of students at each of these schools passed the exam.

Despite its emphasis on math and science, Manhattan Academy of Technology scores were relatively low. Only 59 percent of their fifth grade students passed the exam while other Downtown schools scored in the 80s and 90s.

M.A.T. saw a significant increase from last year in the amount of students passing the exam in grades three and seven. However, the amount of fifth graders passing the exam went down by 22 percent from 2006.

M.A.T.’s current fourth and fifth grade classes did better than they did last year on their third and fourth grade exams. The number of passing students in each grade went up by 12 and 17 percents respectively.

However, many of the M.A.T. students who were in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades last year appear to have scored lower this year. The 2007 numbers for the fifth, sixth and seventh grades dropped respectively by 15, 11 and 8 percent compared to the previous grade last year. Since the state does not track students individually and some change schools from year to year, there are undoubtedly students in these grades who showed improvements.

M.A.T.’s principal did not return calls for comment.

The state math exam tests students’ skills in algebra, geometry, measurement, statistics and probability and number sense and operations. The test is administered to grades three through eight annually in March and lasts from two to three days, depending on the grade level.

City schools saw more overall gains in the number of passing students than the rest of the state, with some of the best scores Downtown. The number of students passing the exam went up by 8.1 percent — the highest gain since 1999, the first year of the test.

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