We will be blunt: the Progress Report released by the NYC Department of Education for PS 8 Robert Fulton Elementary school in Brooklyn Heights makes very little sense.
First, we look at the three sub-categories that make up the overall grade: PS 8 was given a B, a D, and for the most heavily weighted of the three categories, an F.
The combined score awarded for all three categories is 13.1 out of 100. On the table to the right of the grade summary, an F is listed as being 19 or lower.
Now, we haven’t been in an Math class for quite some time, but as far as we remember, 13.1 is definitely less than 19. Which would mean that PS 8 got an F overall.
But the report isn’t even quite that simple, in terms of being misleading.
When we look at the scores that the Student Performance category are based on (PS 8 got a D in Student Performance), the scores are actually pretty good: 64.1 % of students testing “At Proficiency” in English, and 74.2 testing at proficiency in Math.
Those aren’t numbers to get excited about of course, but they do seem to be higher than other schools we have reviewed that received a higher than a D. Of course, PS 8 is in a different “peer” group, so we are guessing these numbers have to be interpreted as being low for the schools presumed peer schools.
This begs a question about the whole grading process however: if different elementary schools are judged by different standards (the standard being the “peer” group), then in what way are we developing a city wide standard that has any real meaning in terms of assuring kids are getting similar educations?
Check out the Progress Report online here, and let us know if you come to a different conclusion than we did. We’d love to be corrected on this one.