Improved math and English language arts scores have resulted in Buffalo's Early Childhood Center School 82 being removed from the list of lowest performing schools in New York State.
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said 27 schools in four districts in New York met the criteria for removal from priority school status based on their progress in 2015-16 and 2016-17 state assessments.
“Removal from priority school status shows the hard work being done by students, teachers and administrators at these schools and I applaud them all,” Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said.
There still are 18 schools in Buffalo listed as priority schools, according to the state Education Department. Buffalo also has 15 schools considered as focus schools, which is not as dire as being classified priority, said Genelle Morris, chief accountability officer for the Buffalo schools. It has 26 schools in good standing, while in 2015 the district had 14 schools considered in good standing.
Morris said the district was informed a few weeks ago that School 82 would be removed from the list and now is considered in good standing.
"PS No. 82 made progress for two years and met removal criteria for change in accountability status," Morris said in a statement.
“These schools are working hard to collaborate with stakeholders to address the needs of their students, and the results so far are promising,” Elia said. “At the same time, we must remain mindful that only sustained and accelerated progress in these schools can create the level of progress necessary for us to meet our goals for all of New York’s children."
To be eligible for removal from priority school status, a school must have made the required progress on 2015-16 and 2016-17 school year results, meet participation rate requirements for ELA and math for all subgroups for which the school was accountable in both of these school years, and be above the threshold for priority school identification.
School 82's performance index exceeded its target by 16 points, and the school also met targets for participation rate in 16-17, Morris said.
The state identified 174 school as priority schools in the 2016-17 school year. Schools with performances that place them among the lowest performing in the state for the combined English language arts and mathematics performance index or graduation rate and that are not improving are identified as priority schools. Current priority schools were identified based on 2014-15 school year results.