Successful school gets failing grade

September 12, 2008 3:38:43 PM PDT
Most parents with children at P.S. 8 are happy with the school. However, in spite of "some" improvements in student achievement over the past few years, P.S. 8 will be graded "F" on its overall progress report to be released next week.

Just this summer, in announcing construction of a new annex at the school, there was praise for P.S. 8 for the way it has grown a culture of success and enthusiasm. The "F" on its progress report has apparently changed the school chancellor's mind.

P.S. 8 is not the first school where reputation does not match the school performance grade. For the 2006-2007 school year, about two-thirds of the students were proficient in English and more than 81 percent excelled n math.

For the last school year, P.S. 8 had slightly better scores in both areas, but with a grade of "C" on the last performance report, soon-to-be released grade of "F" could not be any lower.

City Councilman David Yassky represents Brooklyn Heights. He believes the school does not deserve the failing grade. He points out that enrollment at P.S. 8 has doubled over the past five years, with children whose parents really want them to be here.

However, in the complicated formula for performance grades, P.S. 8 does not measure up well compared to schools with similar populations. Yassky says the grading system should be changed.

We spoke to Principal Seth Phillips, who did not want to comment on camera before the scores are officially announced, but he tells us that he and his staff are committed to improving school performance.

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