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Saturday, February 13, 2016

PS 24 gets an ‘F’ for its learning environment

By Sarina Trangle

PS 24 was the only local school that saw its letter grade drop when the Department of Education released the annual elementary and middle school Progress Reports on Tuesday.

The majority of Riverdale, Kingsbridge and Marble Hill primary and middle schools received more favorable Progress Reports this year than last fall. The reports show all of the schools that earned “A”s last year –– PS 7, The Bronx New School, PS 51, The New School for Leadership and the Arts, MS 244 –– were ranked at the top of the alphabet again. A spike in state test scores helped PS 310 jump from last year’s “D” to an “A.”

PS 24’s overall grade on the report, which purport to measure schools performances by comparing them to other similar schools, slumped from last year’s “B” to a “C.”

The DOE arrives at the final score by grading schools in three categories: school environment, based on attendance and on surveys taken by parents and teachers; student performance, based on the results of the 2012 math and English standardized state tests; and student progress, which measures the change in state test scores from 2011 to 2012. Schools earn additional credit for making large gains with high-needs students.

PS 24 earned an “A” for students’ performance on state exams. It got a “C” in the student progress section, which accounts for 60 percent of the grade. And it was slapped with an “F” in the learning environment section after parents indicated the community didn’t communicate well and teachers reported strife with the administration on the Annual Learning Environment Survey.

Assistant Principal Manny Verdi said he felt good about the “A” PS 24 earned on the student performance section, which he described as the most “objective” measure of academic success. He said the more students that pass state math and English Language Arts exams, the harder it is to meet DOE’s improvement parameters next year, which he blamed for the mediocre student progress score. 

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