Buffalo Public Schools are getting an encouraging report card …
Updated: Monday, 01 Jun 2009, 12:28 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 07 May 2009, 7:41 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Buffalo Public Schools are getting an encouraging report card Thursday night. Buffalo English scores are showing the most improvement of any of the big upstate cities.
Buffalo School officials got the news straight from Albany, via a webcast from State Education Commissioner Richard Mills.
English scores for Buffalo's third through eighth graders are up for the fourth straight year, and the percentage scoring at grade level or above has jumped by 81 percent in the last three years.
Mills said, "I hope that in Buffalo they are saying 'how was that possible? Who did that? What were the conversations with the parents, the teachers?'"
School officials are ecstatic about the results.
School Board member Chris Jacobs said, "I am very pleased, very pleased. The significant gains, again, for four consecutive years, and an 80 percent gain in the last four years."
Jacobs credits a number of programs school Superintendent Doctor James Williams has put into place, including the controversial Direct Instruction method of teaching students with special needs.
Dr. Williams said, "Where we are progress-monitoring the work. That is the accountability that I support and that is the route we are going, because we are getting great results, and our teachers are really, really putting forth an effort."
Jacobs is especially heartened by the higher scores for 7th and 8th graders, although the older students on that graph, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, still have a long way to go.
Jacobs said, "In the last couple, our younger grades were doing quite well. We were still struggling in those older years, which many areas have. We made gains even with those. Those kids now are heading into high school ready, prepared to hit the ground running."