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DOE Progress Reports Show Many Schools Stable While 109 Others Face Possible Closure

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The Department of Education released school progress reports Friday, and while many schools remained stable, over 100 may be on the chopping block. NY1’s Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

PS 60 in Woodhaven got an “A” on its progress report Friday. The score is based mostly on how much students improved on state tests but also on overall test scores, attendance and survey results.

Almost 300 schools got As, but where PS 60 really stood out was how well students with disabilities did and how much struggling black and Latino boys improved. The second category is new this year.

In both areas, PS 60 got the best results citywide.

“We make small group involvement of students-to-teacher-ratio a major part of the building,” said Frank Desario, principal of PS 60.

The school grades have swung wildly over the past few years along with changes in state test scores.

This year, however, scores were more stable because, for the second year, the city decided the grade breakdown ahead of time: 25 percent As, 35 percent Bs, 30 percent Cs, seven percent Ds and three percent Fs.

In total, 88 percent of schools either got the same grade as last year or moved just one grade up or down.

“The truth about improving schools is that you can't do it quickly in one year. There is not a magic bullet. There are lots of small solutions, step-by-step,” said Shael Polakow-Suransky, chief accountability officer for the Department of Education.

Just three schools jumped up three letter grades this year. Eleven schools plummeted three grades, including PS 377, going from a C to an F and scoring just four percent, the lowest in the city.

Schools that get a D, an F or three Cs in a row can be put on the closure list, and 109 were this year. That’s twice as many as last year.

“That is a more precise and accurate measure of how the schools are actually performing,” said Polakow-Suransky.

When Brooklyn's KAPPA 7 got a D last year, the DOE considered closing it. This year, it got an F, almost certainly putting it on the chopping block, especially after the Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said this week that he'll be targeting low-performing middle schools for closure.

Staten Island School for Civic Leadership doesn't have to worry, as it got the highest score: a 97 percent. Schools needed just a 58 to get an A.

Individual reports and scores are now on the DOE's website. High school progress reports are expected next month.

To access the reports, visit schools.NYC.gov.

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