Brooklyn Test Results Reveal Charter Schools A Savings Grace In Black/Hispanic Nabes

If you’re a black or Hispanic Brooklyn parent wanting the best education for your child you have two choices – either get them in a local charter school or send them to a public school in a white neighborhood.

According to an exclusive KCP numbers crunch of Brooklyn schools results in the recent state exams in math and English Language Arts (ELA) given to third- and eighth-graders, Success Academy Charter schools dominated with nine of the top 20 schools in test scores – including several in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Of the 11 public schools in the Brooklyn’s top 20, all were either magnet/gifted and talented schools or in white neighborhoods with the exception of the All City Leadership Secondary School in Bushwick, whose largely Hispanic student body ranked 14th with a combined math and ELA proficiency score of 87.4%.

The top Brooklyn Success Academy charter network school, which had the highest combined scores in the borough, was in the largely white Bergen Beach with a 99.1% total proficiency, but several of their schools in black/Hispanic neighborhoods ranked very high on the list. This includes their Crown Heights (ranked 3), Bed-Stut 1 (ranked 4), Bed-Stuy 2 (ranked 7), Prospect Heights (Ranked 12), Fort Greene (ranked 16) and Williamsburg (ranked 19) schools.

Several other charter schools in largely black and Hispanic neighborhoods scored in the top 50 in test results including both the Uncommon and Achievement First charter school networks.

But overall, Brooklyn epitomized the city’s massive racial achievement gap more than any other borough in 2017 – students of color in Brooklyn’s district schools scored less than half as high as other students, and Brooklyn’s lowest-performing districts had the borough’s highest rates of black and Hispanic enrollment.

Over 67,000 students in Brooklyn failed last year’s assessments – more than any other borough – and three-quarters of these students were children of color. However, students of color at Brooklyn charters were twice as likely as their district school peers to be proficient in math and 53 percent likelier to be proficient in reading.

Students with disabilities at Brooklyn charters were twice as likely as their district peers to be proficient in math and 59 percent likelier to score at grade level in reading. At the Success Academy’s Brooklyn locations, students with disabilities outscored Brooklyn’s overall math proficiency average by 45 points and Brooklyn’s overall ELA proficiency average by 17 points – proving that all students can reach the highest achievement levels.

 

Brooklyn’s Racial Proficiency Gap in District Schools: 2017
Student Group Math Proficiency ELA Proficiency Average Proficiency
Black & Hispanic 24.3% 30.5% 27.4%
Non-Black & Hispanic 64.1% 58.7% 61.4%

 

Compared To Their Peers In The Borough’s Top-Four Districts, Students In Brooklyn’s Bottom-Four Districts Were Twice As Likely To Be Black Or Hispanic And Less Than Half As Likely To Score At Grade Level.

  • In the four Brooklyn districts ranked among the city’s ten most-proficient school districts (Districts 15, 20, 21, and 22), 51 percent of students scored at grade level in math and reading but only 42 percent of students were black or Hispanic
  • In the four Brooklyn districts ranked among the city’s ten least-proficient school districts (Districts 16, 19, 23, and 32), only 22 percent of district students scored at grade level in math and reading – and 93 percent of students were black or Hispanic

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