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State report card shows progress in city schools

Ashley Hirtzel

The Buffalo Public School District released its report card from the State Education Department Friday and the head of the district says it reflects a path to success.
The state rated 42 schools in the district as ‘effective’ and two schools as ‘highly effective.’ Five schools in the district were rated ‘developing’ and two schools were rated ‘ineffective.’ The identities of those schools were not made public.

The preliminary graduation rate from the state is 56%, up from 47.8% in the 2011-2012 school year. The number of graduates moving on to college is also up. The college matriculation rate was 66% in 2013, up from 57% in 2012.

Superintendent Pamela Brown says the district is making progress and she is hoping for even better results next year.

"Everybody plays a major role in the education of our children and the more that we work together as a team within the district and among parents and throughout the city, the better results we will be able to see. It is clear that if we can see this kind of progress after one year, think about what we can do over the future," Brown said at a City Hall news conference.

Brown says student sub-groups are making Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, in Math, Science and English Language Arts. The sub-groups include American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian,White, Multicultural, and Limited English Proficient.

In 2011-2012 in English Language Arts, only American Indian students met AYP, but in 2012-13, five out of 10 sub-groups made AYP. In 2011-2012 in Math, no student sub-groups made AYP, but in 2012-13, seven out of the 10 sub-groups did. In 2011-2012 in Science, only American Indian met AYP, while in 2012-13, all ten made AYP.

The percentage of students scoring at level 3 or 4 on regents exams in English, Math, Science, U.S. History and Global History grew from 2 to 7% in all subjects. Brown adds that the drop-out rate fell to 23.4% in 2012-13 from 28.9% in the 2011-12 school year.

Brown says she attributes the district's success to professional development, strong partnerships with community organizations, and parent involvement.