I finally had time to sit down to review recently released 2018-2019 ELA State Assessment data for schools other than the school I teach at. Naturally, I went back to where it all started: the middle school I graduated from 13 years ago, MS 53 Brian Piccolo in Far Rockaway, Queens. Bare with me on this data dive.
Unfortunately, of the 216 students who were tested across grades 6-8, only a dismal 11% were proficient. Zooming in closer, 9% of scholars tested scored a level 3 and only 2% of scholars tested scored a level 4. And while one could fantasize that most of the remaining students resided at the cusp of proficiency with a high level 2, the reality is a saddening 65% fall under the level 1 category.
90% of scholars at MS 53 fall under the economically disadvantage category, which means they are eligible to receive free or reduced school lunch and live below the poverty-line. Of the 90% of scholars in this category, only 10% or 21 students were proficient. Lastly, 95% of the student body are students of color. This simply means that my middle school is a micro data-based view that students of color continue to not get the support they need to succeed.
More than that for me, my community needs to come together and do something to start and maintain a path to academic excellence. I know for sure that I need to be more active in playing a role in this special but much needed undertaking.
Have fun digging through NYS assessment data here: https://data.nysed.gov/