Volume 17 • Issue 20 | October 08 - 14, 2004



P.S. 150 first in math again

By Rachel Evans

The fourth graders at P.S. 150 earned the city’s number one ranking in mathematics for their school.

The scores of the twenty-six students who took the exam at the end of the 2003-2004 academic year were released Thursday.

Alyssa Polack, principal of the small Tribeca elementary school, said she was extremely pleased with the results of the math test. “It reflects the hard work that we all do,” she said.

Other local schools also scored well. P.S. 234 was ranked 21st and P.S. 89, ranked 56th out of 709 schools. I.S. 89’s eight graders ranked 25th in math out of 330 schools.

Polack said: “We have worked hard to create a successful, solid and rigorous program. Not only for the fourth graders, but also the previous years to set the foundation.”

P.S. 150 expanded three years ago to include grades three, four and five. She said it is important to work hard from the beginning, and it pays off.

Many of the parents were also pleased to hear the news.

Phil Mariso said he is excited for the school. His daughter Nia, who is now in fifth grade, took the exam last year.

Nia smiled at her father when she heard the news. She said she was a little nervous when she took the test.

“I’m proud of my daughter,” Mariso said. “She did very well.”

Tom Goodkind, father of a student at P.S. 89, said he is extremely proud of the students.

“[P.S. 150] is like the little engine that could,” he said. “They are little geniuses.”

Maryann Plunkett, who has a son in the fifth grade, said she is happy with the scores, but knows the test isn’t what makes the school great.

“The school is filled with wonderful, intelligent and thrilling children,” Plunkett said. “If the test scores were different, it wouldn’t change who the children are.”

Plunkett’s husband, Jay Sanders, said he is happy with his son and loves the school, but feels the test does have its downsides.

Sanders said the main problem of the test is how much emphasis is placed on the skill of taking the test rather than the skill itself.

“There is huge pressure for results on people who should be allowed to use instinct and intuition for teaching what is truly important,” he said. “The test can interrupt the natural flow of education.”



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