Volume 17 • Issue 5 | June 25 - July 1, 2004

Downtown third graders score well on new tests

Local third graders produced strong scores on the standardized English and math exams on the first year of the city’s strict promotion policy.

Under the new policy, a child who places in the lowest level on the third-grade English or math exams will automatically have to repeat the grade unless teachers successfully repeal the decision or the students improves after summer school.

In statistics released on Thursday, the Department of Education said that out of the 10,521 students being held to the new promotion policy, 1,480 were recommended for promotion based on class work. The remaining students will attend the city’s Summer Success Academy’s special program for third graders, and promotion decisions for these students will be made in August. The city has approximately 70,000 third graders.

At P.S. 150 in Tribeca, none of the third graders failed the English or math tests. At P.S. 89 in Battery Park City, principal Ronnie Najjar said she planned to file an appeal for the one non-special education student who scored in the lowest level. At P.S. 234 in Tribeca, principal Sandy Bridges said she did not plan to hold back any third graders based on test scores and for technical reasons, appeals were unnecessary for three students who scored on the lowest level.

Bridges said she is considering holding back other third graders for reasons other than their test scores.

Bridges said the city sent her school a big packet of information on the new policy, outlining an appeals process that would require detailed paperwork to be completed in a short amount of time.

Even so, Bridges said of the appeals process, “It was actually pretty clear.”

Local schools’ 2004 third-grade English and math standardized test scores

(Numbers reflect percentage of children who met or exceeded standards)

P.S. 150 P.S. 89 P.S. 234

English scores 85.2 82.4 85.1

Math scores 88.9 86.3 90.4

Number of third grade students originally scoring in the lowest level at local schools (Note: results below are subject to change based on subsequent
performance and technical considerations)

P.S. 150 P.S. 89 P.S. 234

English exam 0 4 3

Math exam 0 1 1

—Elizabeth O’Brien

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