Brooklyn Regular Public Schools Fall Futher Behind In Racial Proficiency Gap, Study Says

The bad news is Brooklyn regular K-8 public schools in 2016 have the dubious distinction of having the city’s highest racial proficiency gap in the recent math and English test results.

The good news is k-8 charter schools in districts with the highest rates of black and Hispanic enrollment not only lifted up the district’s proficiency rates in these subject but accounted for some of the best scores in the state. This includes the state’s most proficient school, the Success Academy Crown Heights Charter, where 99 percent of students were proficient in math and reading.

Both findings were part of the pro parental choice advocacy organization, Families For Excellent Schools (FES) research study released today.

“Brooklyn’s district schools are robbing black and Hispanic students of the quality education they deserve and reinforcing a heartbreaking racial achievement gap,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools. “Families across the borough need and want expanded access to public charter schools, where children of color are thriving alongside their peers.”

The study looked at Brooklyn’s 12 school districts  and found students of color in Brooklyn district schools were less than half as likely to score at grade level in math and reading (26 percent) as their non-Black and Hispanic peers (63 percent).

It also found that compared to their peers in Brooklyn’s four most-proficient districts, students in Brooklyn’s four least-proficient districts were twice as likely to be black or Hispanic and half as likely to be proficient.

Math proficiency declined in only one Brooklyn district last year: District 32, which is tied with Brooklyn District 23 for the city’s highest black and Hispanic enrollment rate (96 percent). District 23, tied with District 32 for the city’s highest rate of black and Hispanic enrollment (96 percent), was the city’s second least proficient school district (17.1 percent proficient).

On the other side, more than half of Brooklyn’s best schools are now charter schools, including six of the 10 best elementary schools.

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In district of color including Districts 9, 23, and 32, charter schools were more than twice as likely as their peers in local district schools to score at grade level in math and reading.

Additionally, students of color in Brooklyn charter schools were twice as proficient as their district peers in math and 40 percent more proficient in reading. Students with disabilities in Brooklyn charter schools were 57 percent likelier than their district school peers to score at grade level in math and reading.

The FES study concluded that doubling the number of charter schools in Brooklyn’s eight lowest-performing districts would close the achievement gap completely in four districts and reduce the achievement gap by at least 25 percent in an additional three districts.

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