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2010 Academic Results

Highlights

New York

For the 2010 New York State exams, the New York State Education Department significantly raised the “cut scores” (the percentage of correct answers) required to score “Proficient” (Level 3).  This change, which Uncommon welcomes, makes it more difficult for students to score “Proficient” or “Advanced” and raises expectations for students, families, and schools.  As a result, proficiency rates across the state dropped by approximately 25 points in Math and English Language Arts (ELA).  Although Uncommon recognizes that we have a long way to go to prepare our students for college-level rigor, especially in ELA, our New York schools did well on most exams compared to the city, state, and other high-performing networks. 

 

Across schools in New York state, 82% of Uncommon’s students scored Advanced or Proficient on the Math exam, besting the overall state average by 21 percentage points and the New York State White student average by 11 percentage points. On the ELA exam, 56% of Uncommon’s students scored Advanced or Proficient, three percentage points above the state average and nine percentages points below the New York State White student average.

 

Highlights include:

  • Excellence Boys Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant ranked #1 in the state in 6th grade Math (one of only 9 schools to have 100% of students Advanced or Proficient) out of approximately 1,600 schools.
  • Kings Collegiate Charter School ranked #1 in the state in 7th grade Math (one of only 12 schools to have 100% of students Advanced or Proficient) out of approximately 1,350 schools.
  • Williamsburg Collegiate ranked #15 in the state in 7th grade Math and #17 in the state in 8th grade Math out of ~1,350 schools; and
  • True North Rochester Prep Charter School ranked #6 in the state in 8th grade ELA out of of approximately 1,350 schools.

 

New Jersey

On Thursday, September 9th, 2010 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Uncommon Schools’ North Star Academy Charter School of Newark (North Star) as a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School. The highest award bestowed by the Department, it honored 304 public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate the highest student achievement in their respective states and/or have closed the achievement gap. North Star was selected as one of only 80 schools in the category of schools whose students, regardless of backgrounds, are among the state’s highest performing.

 

North Star posted exceptional results on the 2010 New Jersey State Math and English Language Arts (ELA) assessments. Overall, across 5th through 8th grades, 84% of North Star’s students scored Advanced or Proficient on the Math exam, besting the overall state average by 13 percentage points and the New Jersey White student average by three percentage points. On the ELA exam, 79% of North Star’s students scored Advanced or Proficient, three percentage points above the state average and one percentage point below the New Jersey White student average.

 

Highlights include:

  • Of North Star’s 8th grade students, 94% scored Advanced or Proficient on the 2010 state exam in ELA and 97% scored Advanced or Proficient in Math, compared to 58% and 41% respectively across Newark.
  •  At the high school level, 100% of North Star’s 11th grade students scored Advanced or Proficient in 2010 on both the ELA and Math exams, compared to only 59% and 47% respectively across Newark.

 

Massachusetts

In 2010, Roxbury Prep was recognized as a Commendation School by Governor Patrick, who cited the school’s impressive student achievement gains.  At a time when only 9% of low-income students graduate from college across the country, nearly 80% of Roxbury Prep alumni are enrolled in and on track to earn a college degree within six years.

 

Across 6th through 8th grades, 69% of Roxbury Prep students scored Advanced or Proficient on the 2010 Massachusetts Math exam, besting the Massachusetts average by 15 percentage points and the Massachusetts White student average by eight percentage points. On the ELA exam, 77% of Roxbury Prep students scored Advanced or Proficient, four percentage points above Massachusetts average and three percentage points below the Massachusetts White student average.

 

Highlights include:

  • Roxbury Prep’s 8th grade students have ranked first in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the state Math exam in two of the last four years.
  • Although internal and external assessments indicate that on average Roxbury Prep students enroll scoring at least two years below grade level, these same students typically outscore over 80 percent of middle school students across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

 

Even with the strong performance of its schools as outlined above, Uncommon believes there is more to be done to ensure that each student is prepared to meet the rigors of college.  To address gaps in ELA mastery specifically, Uncommon spent the past year developing an innovative teacher training tool that focuses largely on Guided Reading. Led by Managing Director Paul Bambrick, a coalition of Early Literacy leaders from across Uncommon developed the K-4 Reading Taxonomy – a comprehensive written guide with over 200 supporting video clips targeting literacy at the K-2 level, along with guiding principles for the 3rd – 4th grade bridge to middle school. This work will play a vital role this year as Uncommon grows and works to refine and enhance its programming to best meet the needs of its students.

 

View our 2010 Academic Results Press Release.