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For Release — Monday, February 23, 2004

SHOWING NEW YORK'S SCHOOLS THE PATH TO IMPROVEMENT: 24 NEW YORK SCHOOLS EARN 2004 PATHFINDER AWARDS

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 2004 Pathfinder Award. The Business Council gives this award each year to honor schools that show marked improvement from one year to the next on 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.

"The schools selected are models for the rest of the state,"said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "They have shown that success comes after persistence and hard work. And we thank the teachers and students at the schools for shaping the minds that will one day inherit this state."

The Council awards the Pathfinder Award to two or more schools in each of 12 regions of the state based on improvement in students' scores from one year to the next on the state's fourth-grade English Language Arts and math standardized tests. The 2004 Pathfinder Award winners are:

SCHOOL / SCHOOL DISTRICT IMPROVEMENT IN TEST SCORES (2002-2003)
  English Language Arts Math
P.S. 46 (the Arthur Tappan School), New York City Community School District 5 in Manhattan 49 percent 54 percent
P.S. 133 (the Fred R. Moore Academy), New York City Community School District 5 in Manhattan 54 percent 35 percent
P.S. 270 (the Johann Dekalb School), New York City Community School District 13 in Brooklyn 103 percent 184 percent
P.S. 384 (the Frances E. Carter School), New York City Community School District 32 in Brooklyn 154 percent 104 percent
Berlin Elementary School, Berlin Central School District in Rensselaer County 36 percent 90 percent
Arbor Hill Elementary School, Albany City School District in Albany County 36 percent 59 percent
East Side Elementary School, Gouverneur Central School District in St. Lawrence County 95 percent 89 percent
Madrid Waddington Elementary School, Madrid Waddington Central School District in St. Lawrence County 48 percent 62 percent
Williamstown Elementary School, Altmar Parish-WMS Town Central School District in Oswego County 112 percent 182 percent
Delaware Elementary School, Syracuse City School District in Onondaga County 116 percent 70 percent
Roxbury Elementary School, Roxbury Central School District in Delaware County
10 percent 110 percent
Virgil Elementary School, Cortland City School District in
Cortland County
30 percent 66 percent
Lindley Presho Elementary School, Corning City School District in Steuben County 76 percent 25 percent
Penn Yan Elementary School, Penn Yann Central School District in Yates County 26 percent 61 percent
P.S. 28 (the Triangle Academy), Buffalo City School District in Erie County
257 percent 92 percent
P.S. 80 (Highgates Heights), Buffalo City School District in Erie County
120 percent 9 percent
Foxfire School, Yonkers City School District in Westchester County 69 percent 134 percent
Casimir Pulaski, Yonkers City School District in Westchester County
13 percent 103 percent
Oak Park Elementary School, Brentwood Union Free School District in Suffolk County
44 percent 62 percent
Ludlum School, Hempstead Union Free School District in Nassau County
47 percent 22 percent
P.S. 156 (the Laurelton School) New York City Community School District 29 in Queens
84 percent 90 percent
P.S. 121 (the Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts), New York City Community School District 28 in Queens
37 percent 78 percent
P.S. 32 (the Belmont School), New York City Community School District 10 in the Bronx 124 percent 51 percent
P.S. 92, New York City Community School District 12, in the Bronx 80 percent 85 percent

Background on the Pathfinder Awards: The Pathfinder Award program is in its fourth year. Last year, 24 schools around the state received the award in the third year.

Winning schools are chosen by The Council. The awards are based on a range of criteria, including improvement in scores and the number and percentage of students tested. In addition, at least half of a school's students must meet or exceed state standards on the fourth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) and math tests before the school can quality for the award.

The Business Council generally 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 and a trophy in recognition of the achievement.

The employers that have provided support to the Pathfinder Awards are:

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 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.

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