Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Thirteen Long Island school districts and 16 individual schools have been placed on a state needs-improvement list, marking the first time this has happened in over three years. These designations are part of a federal and state accountability system that evaluates academic performance for the 2022-23 school year.
The assessments consider several factors, including student test scores, high school graduation rates, absenteeism, and test participation. As a result, a number of school systems throughout the region, particularly in Suffolk County, have been identified as needing improvement. However, it is important to note that the majority of districts and schools in Long Island have maintained good academic standing.
In response to these designations, New York State has allocated additional funding to support districts in mitigating the learning loss caused by the pandemic and improving overall performance. School leaders in affected districts have been working diligently to implement improvements, often hiring additional teachers through state aid to assist in these efforts.
However, some educators have criticized the state’s rating system, arguing that it unfairly stigmatizes entire districts based on data from a small number of students. They believe that the current system fails to account for the unique challenges faced by individual schools and may not accurately reflect their overall performance.
Under the ratings system, schools are classified as either Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI). A district that includes at least one TSI, ATSI, or CSI school is labeled as a Target District. Schools that meet satisfactory achievement standards are classified as Local Support and Improvement (LSI), which is equivalent to the previous “good academic standing” designation.
Statewide, a total of 107 districts are listed as targeted, while 392 schools are categorized as CSI, TSI, or ATSI. Furthermore, 611 districts and 4,266 schools are listed as LSI.
In some positive news, Hempstead High School and Roosevelt district’s high school and middle school have been removed from the needs-improvement list. Roosevelt Superintendent Deborah Wortham attributes this improvement to a long-range improvement plan and increased graduation rates.
Overall, while there are areas for improvement within Long Island’s educational network, efforts are underway to address these challenges and support the academic success of students in the region.