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MAP: See How Lower East Side Schools Did on State Tests

By  Allegra Hobbs and Nigel Chiwaya | August 15, 2016 2:02pm 

 New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math (NEST+m), located at 111 Columbia St.
New Explorations Into Science, Technology and Math (NEST+m), located at 111 Columbia St.
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Facebook/NEST+m Parent Teachers Association

LOWER EAST SIDE — State exam scores in Manhattan’s District 1 reveal a broad disparity in English and math proficiency among Lower East Side schools — the district’s highest-scoring school nabbing a near-perfect success rate, while no students passed the math exam at the school that came in last.

New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math High School came out on top in the school district — which spans the East Village and most of the Lower East Side — with 93.6 percent of students passing the English Language Arts exam and 96.5 percent of students passing the math exam, according to Department of Education data. 

But less than 10 blocks away at the Orchard Collegiate Academy, also known as the Henry Street School, only 10 percent of students passed the ELA while zero percent of students passed the math, records show. Last year, 3 percent of students passed both the ELA and math. 

At the district’s second lowest-scoring school, P.S. 137, 11 percent of students passed the ELA and 13.7 percent passed the math.

The exclusively “Gifted and Talented” NEST+M only accepts applications from children who scored at or above the 97th percentile on the city-issued G&T test. The school had enrolled 1,112 students in kindergarten through eighth grade in the 2014-2015 school year, according to DOE records.

The Orchard Collegiate Academy has a total of 256 students enrolled, according to the state education department, and counted 50 sixth through eighth graders in the 2014-2015 school year, according to DOE records. 

Keeping in mind considerable differences in enrollment sizes from school to school, the extreme achievement gap seems to reflect a disparity along racial lines that is seen in District 1’s overall test results.

According to DOE data, 72 percent of the district’s white students who took the exam passed both the ELA and math. Conversely, 23 percent of black students passed the ELA while 18 percent passed math, and 25 percent of Hispanic students passed the ELA while 22 percent passed the math.

This disparity can be seen in the scores coming out of the district’s higher and lowest-scoring schools.

At NEST+M, 50 percent of students are white and 31 percent are Asian, while only 7 percent are black and 8 percent are Hispanic, according to DOE records.

At Orchard, only 4 percent of students are white — 54 percent are Hispanic, 30 percent are black, and 10 percent are Asian, records show.

At the district’s second lowest-scoring school, P.S. 137, 61 percent of students are Hispanic, 25 percent are black, and 11 percent are Asian, while only three percent are white. 

Still, the Department of Education has touted an overall improvement in this year’s test scores from last year, noting that scores among black and Hispanic students have made marked strides in closing the achievement gap — black students saw an increase of 7.7 percent while Hispanic students saw an increase of 7.1 percent in English proficiency, records show.

And these strides are reflected in District 1’s results, noted a department spokeswoman — at the East Village’s P.S. 15, where the student body is 60 percent Hispanic and 32 percent black, according to Inside Schools, ELA scores jumped from 12 percent proficient to 21 percent, while math scores jumped from 5 percent to 20 percent proficient.

The spokeswoman further noted that officials in District 1 are continuing to strive to close the existing achievement gap.

“There is a lot more work to do across the City to ensure equity and excellence for all students, and the District 1 superintendent is focused on supporting all schools to strengthen instruction, promote collaboration and the sharing of best practices, and ultimately improving outcomes for all kids,” said DOE spokeswoman Devora Kaye.

District 1 Superintendent Daniella Phillips declined to comment, referring DNAinfo New York to the DOE. 

The principal of NEST+M declined to comment. 

The Orchard Collegiate Academy did not immediately return a request for comment.

Of all students who took the state exam citywide, roughly 38 percent were proficient in English Language Arts and 36.4 percent were proficient in math. 

DNAinfo New York mapped out the test results, coloring each school based on the percentage of third through eighth graders who passed the ELA or math exam. Click on your school to see how it fared on each exam along with where it ranked among schools in its district.