Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Monday, January 13, 2003


Pathfinder AwardALBANY—Twenty-four New York State elementary schools in all parts of the state will receive the highest honor given to schools by New York State's private sector: the 2003 Pathfinder Award. The Business Council gives this award each year to honor schools that improve the most from one year to the next as measured by students' standardized test scores.

Each winning school will receive its award at a local ceremony that will be announced separately. Award ceremonies will be scheduled over the next few months.

"Schools that make a commitment to improve provide a service not only to their own students, families, and communities, but also to other schools that benefit from their experience and example," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "New York's most improved schools come from all kinds of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and financial circumstances—proving that improvement is within the reach of any school that decides to improve."

The Council awards the Pathfinder Award to two or more schools in each of 12 regions of the state whose students show the most improvement on the state's English Language Arts and math standardized tests. The 2003 Pathfinder Award winners are:

  English Language Arts Math
P.S./ I.S. 126 (the Jacob Riis Community School), New York City Community School District 2 in Manhattan 78 percent 13 percent
P.S. 11 (the William Harris School), New York City Community School District 2 in Manhattan 27 percent 23 percent
P.S. 196 (the Ten Eyck School), New York City Community School District 14 in Brooklyn 159 percent 120 percent
P.S. 26 (the Jesse Owens School), New York City Community School District 16 in Brooklyn 75 percent 67 percent
Zena Elementary School, Kingston City School District in Kingston, Ulster County 30 percent 29 percent
School 18, Albany City School District in Albany 50 percent 46 percent
Salem Elementary School, Salem Central School District in Salem, Washington County 42 percent 20 percent
Edwards-Knox Elementary School, Edwards-Knox Central School District in Russell, St. Lawrence County 93 percent 28 percent
Hastings Mallory Elementary School, Central Square Central School District in Central Square, Oswego County 32 percent 183 percent
West Frankfort Elementary School, Frankfort-Schuyler Central School in Frankfort, Herkimer County 40 percent 23 percent
Alton B. Parker School, Cortland City School District in Cortland, Cortland County 47 percent 13 percent
W.F. Prior Elementary School, Oneida City School District in Oneida, Madison County 68 percent 14 percent
School 5 (the John Williams School), Rochester City School District in Rochester 185 percent 120 percent
School 29 (the Adlai E Stevenson School), Rochester City School District in Rochester 118 percent 115 percent
60th Street School, Niagara Falls City School District in Niagara Falls 109 percent 39 percent
Washington Hunt School, Lockport City School District in Lockport, Niagara County 52 percent 21 percent
John F. Kennedy Magnet School, Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District in Port Chester, Westchester County 68 percent 30 percent
Kahlil Gibran School, Yonkers City School District in Yonkers, Westchester County 85 percent 34 percent
Franklin School, Hempstead Union Free School District in Hempstead, Nassau County 26 percent 76 percent
Gotham Avenue School, Elmont Union Free School District in Elmont, Nassau County 63 percent 37 percent
P.S. 82 (the Hammond School), New York City Community School District 28 in Jamaica, Queens County 94 percent 64 percent
P.S. 66 (the Oxford School), New York City Community School District 27 in Richmond Hill, Queens County 94 percent 29 percent
P.S. 19 (the Judith K. Weiss School), New York City Community School District 11 in the Bronx 50 percent 35 percent
P.S. 175 (the City Island School), New York City Community School District 11 in the Bronx 38 percent 26 percent

Background on the Pathfinder Awards: The Pathfinder Award program is in its third year. The Business Council created the Pathfinder Awards to recognize elementary schools that show the most improvement from one year to the next as measured by the state's new academic standards. Last year, 25 schools around the state received the award in the second year.

How award recipients are determined: To be chosen, a school must meet two criteria. First, it must have shown more improvement over its record the previous year than other schools in its region. In addition, at least half of its students must meet or exceed state standards on the fourth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) and math tests.

The Business Council gives Pathfinder Awards to two public schools in each of 12 different regions across the state. These regions are the state's judicial districts; awards are being made by those districts because appointments to the state Board of Regents are based on those regions. In some regions, if more than two schools show nearly identical levels of improvement, more than two may be recognized. Schools that win the award receive $1,000 for the school's programs, an Apple computer, and a trophy in recognition of the achievement.

The employers that contributed in 2002 to support the Pathfinder Awards are: Anheuser-Busch, Inc.; Apple Computers; CH Energy Group; Consolidated Edison, Inc.; Fleet Bank; HSBC; KeySpan; Metropolitan Life; Pfizer; Pioneer Development Company; Racemark International, LP; and Security Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Background on The Business Council's advocacy for education: The Business Council has long been an active and forceful advocate of policies to strengthen the performance and accountability of the state's public schools, and has long encouraged businesses and business leaders to become active partners with schools in their efforts to improve.

For example, The Public Policy Institute used state data to design the prototype for the state's school report cards. Today school report cards are released annually to give schools, teachers, parents, and students a sense of how their schools are doing compared to schools in similar circumstances and their own performance of the previous year. The Council has also supported the state's new academic standards and standardized tests based on them that measure the performance of students, teachers, and schools.