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Upper West Side Schools Score in Top 10 Citywide on State Tests

By  Emily Frost and Amy Zimmer | August 21, 2015 2:27pm | Updated on August 24, 2015 8:55am

 The Special Music School had some of the highest test scores in the city, according to the DOE.
The Special Music School had some of the highest test scores in the city, according to the DOE.
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Kaufman Music Center

UPPER WEST SIDE — Students’ scores on state math and English tests at four neighborhood schools ranked in the top 10 citywide this year, outperforming hundreds of schools across the five boroughs, data showed.

The state Department of Education last week released test results for the city’s third- through eighth-graders at 1,324 schools.

Analyzing the scores for fourth- and seventh-graders at public schools across the city — since parents often consider those grades critical when applying to middle and high schools — DNAinfo found that the Anderson School, the Special Music School, P.S. 199 and M.S. 243 all ranked in the top 10 of public elementary or middle schools citywide. 

Additionally, Columbia Secondary School’s seventh-graders ranked in the top 25 citywide for both their English and math scores. (Charter schools were not included in these rankings.)

The Top Performers

The fourth- and seventh-graders at the Special Music School — a small K–10 school on West 67th Street, where a music audition is required for admission — scored the highest in the city in their respective math exams.

The school’s fourth-graders also scored the highest among all fourth-graders in the city on the English test.

Seventh-graders at the Anderson School — a gifted-and-talented K–8 school on West 77th Street — ranked the highest on the English test of all city seventh-graders. They ranked seventh in the city on the math test.

Anderson’s fourth-graders did exceptionally well on the math test, tying for first place with the Special Music School and Brooklyn’s P.S. 272, with 100 percent of the students passing.

P.S. 199’s fourth-graders also did well, ranking seventh in the city for their math scores — with 93 percent of 126 students passing.

Success Academy

Fourth-graders at the Success Academy Upper West charter school outperformed nearly every elementary school in the district on both the math and English tests, except the Special Music School and the Anderson School. 

The West 84th Street K–4 charter has a high percentage of applicants from within the neighborhood and gives preference to students from District 3, stretching from West 59th to 122nd streets on the West Side.

A full 100 percent of Success Academy’s fourth-graders passed the math test, besting every district school except the Special Music and Anderson schools.

By comparison, 93 percent of fourth-graders at P.S. 199 passed the math test. P.S. 9 and P.S. 87 — two other nearby schools with waitlists that ranked in the top five districtwide for math — saw 89 and 86 percent of their fourth-graders pass the math test, respectively.

Some 91 percent of Success Academy’s fourth-graders passed the English test — tying them for first in the district with the Special Music School, according to state data and a spokeswoman.

By comparison, 78 percent of fourth-graders at P.S. 87 passed the English test, while 76 percent passed at P.S. 199 and 75 percent passed at P.S. 9.

Struggling Schools

While many schools in District 3 excelled on the exams, slightly less than half of all students district-wide failed the two tests.

Out of the 14,948 students in District 3 who took the state English test, 49 percent did not pass, the data showed. About 48 percent of the 14,134 district students who took the math test failed.

The local schools that performed the worst on both tests included: P.S. 242, P.S. 208, M.S. 258, P.S. 191, West Prep Academy, P.S. 149, P.S. 145 and the Stem Institute of Manhattan.

Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing Arts struggled the most with the tests, with none of the students at the 6–12 school passing either the English or math test this year.

The data showed 70 percent of Wadleigh students got the lowest possible grade on the math test, while 67 percent got the lowest possible grade on the English test.

In late 2011, the DOE threatened to close the school, citing its poor academic performance, but parents and advocates rallied around the school and the DOE agreed to keep it open in 2012.

Wadleigh was designated a “Renewal School” by the DOE, meaning it will benefit from extra funding, a longer school day, extra teacher training and summer programs, among other initiatives.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said, however, that if the schools do not improve under the initiative, they may be closed “as a last resort.”

See how the Upper West Side stacked up against other city schools:


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