The following are excerpts from a recent News Day article highlighting the improvements made by Long Island students on state tests.
"A total of 130 public schools, 24 public school districts and one charter school on Long Island earned state recognition yesterday for improving performance. Each school has a significant number of students who are minorities, come from low-income families, or have disabilities.
"The list is required under the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal law to improve school performance and accountability. It named schools or districts that in the 2003-2004 school year met the state performance index of 150, which is compiled by adding the percentage of students who scored at levels three or four on state tests for English and Math to the percent who scored at levels two, three and four. In addition, a school must have met the Adequate Yearly Progress in English and Math for two consecutive years.
"‘On the human side our teachers work so hard and we keep telling them kids are capable of great things, and something like this is much needed reinforcement for their hard work,’ said Joan Daly-Lewis, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the William Floyd school district, which had four elementary schools on the list."
In Brentwood, where six elementary schools made the list, Alan Lazarus, director of funded programs, said the district improved performance by using alternate sources of funding, such as grants. It used the money to provide programs including additional English as a Second Language classes and after-school programs at community based organizations. Being on the list of higher improving schools ‘gives us credibility,’ he said, ‘because we are not used to failing here.’
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