Volume 73, Number 7 | June 16 - 22, 2004

Schools get results of standardized English tests

By Elizabeth O’Brien

Local schools straddled the citywide average on the state English Language Arts, or E.L.A., test in results released recently by the Department of Education.

The high-stakes standardized test was administered to fourth and eighth graders over three days in early February. A fourth grader’s performance on the test influences the child’s options for middle school.

Just as the test can greatly impact a student’s educational career, scores also affect a school’s reputation. As part of his system-wide overhaul, Mayor Michael Bloomberg identified 328 elite schools last spring, largely based on standardized test scores, that would be exempt from part or all of the uniform curriculum that was implemented last fall.

P.S. 42 is one of many local schools that earned an exemption. At the Hester St. elementary school, 83.7 percent of fourth graders met or exceeded state standards on the reading test this year, compared with 77.9 percent last year. The citywide average is 49.6 percent.

“We’re very proud, because the hard work pays off — it pays off day to day, when the kids are thriving, and it doesn’t hurt to have these scores,” said Rosa Casiello O’Day, the principal. “Success breed success.”

More than half of the students entering P.S. 42 are non-native English speakers, and the majority of students come from homes where English is not spoken. More than 90 percent of students at P.S. 42 qualify for a free or reduced lunch, a poverty indicator.

The school overcomes these challenges with a dedicated staff, after-hours and weekend enrichment programs, and early intervention when potential problems are identified, O’Day said.

Judy Trazino, mother of two girls at P.S. 42, said her daughters are receiving a rigorous education there.

“I was so pleased to see the scores,” said Trazino, a Southbridge Towers resident whose daughters are in kindergarten and second grade. Trazino pulled the girls out of P.S. 234 last December because she felt they were not academically challenged enough at the Tribeca school. At P.S. 42, Trazino said, “The teachers are just amazing.”

The state math test was given in May and the results will not be ready until the fall.

Performance of local schools on standardized English tests
(Numbers reflect percentages of children who met or exceeded standards)

2003 Fourth Grade Scores 2004 Fourth Grade Scores

P.S. 2 Meyer London 57.5 71.8
122 Henry St.

P.S. 3 Charrette School 74.0 75.9
490 Hudson St.

P.S. 11 William T. Harris 54.1 55.0
320 W. 21st St.

P.S. 15 Roberto Clemente 42.6 30.0
333 E. 4th St.

P.S. 19 Asher Levy 45.9 44.2
185 1st Ave.

P.S. 20 Anna Silver 54.9 56.4
166 Essex St.

P.S. 33 Chelsea School 36.6 20.0
281 9th Ave.

P.S. 34 Franklin D. Roosevelt 37.5 23.0
730 E 12th St.

P.S. 40 Augustus St-Gaudens 85.1 86.8
319 E 19th St.

P.S. 41 Greenwich Village 79.1 77.0
116 W. 11th St.

P.S. 42 Benjamin Altman 77.9 83.7
71 Hester St.

P.S. 63 William McKinley 37.5 30.0
121 East 3rd St.

P.S. 64 Robert Simon 24.3 31.3
600 East 6th St.

P.S. 77 Lower Lab 93.0 94.4
1700 3rd Ave.

P.S. 110 Florence Nightingale 73.7 58.6
285 Delancey St.

P.S. 124 Yung Wing 82.0 85.8
40 Division St.

P.S. 126 Jacob August Riis 74.5 42.3
80 Catherine St.

P.S. 130 the De Soto School 79.4 81.0
143 Baxter St.

P.S. 134 Henrietta Szold 47.8 53.3
293 East Broadway

P.S. 137 John L. Bernstein 32.9 53.9
327 Cherry St.

P.S. 140 Esteban J. Barrientos 23.9 17.0
123 Ridge St.

P.S. 142 Amalia Castro 43.2 33.7
100 Attorney St.

P.S. 184 Shuang Wen 96.8 97.4
293 E. Broadway

P.S. 188 The Island School 31.3 50.0
442 E. Houston St.

P.S. 196 Umbrella 55.3 53.0
442 E. Houston St.

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