Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Pathfinder AwardALBANY—Fourteen 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 2005 Pathfinder Award. The Business Council gives this award to honor schools that show marked improvement from one year to the next on students' state test scores.

For the first time in the five years the awards have been presented, two charter schools will be among the recipients.

Roosevelt Children's Academy Charter School in Nassau County, and the South Buffalo Charter School in Erie County, showed significant improvement on state tests between 2003 and 2004.

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 prove that improvement is possible in virtually all kinds of schools," 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 showing the path to success."

The Council awards the Pathfinder Award to one 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 tests.

The 2005 Pathfinder Award winners are:

  English Language Arts Math
P.S. 137 (the John L. Bernstein School), New York City Community School District 1 in Manhattan 62 percent 78 percent
P.S. 11 (the Purvis J. Behan School), New York City Community School District 13 in Brooklyn 48 percent 18 percent
The Thomas S. O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology, Albany City School District in Albany County 28 percent 54 percent
Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School, Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School District in Essex County 36 percent 11 percent
Cleveland Elementary School, Central Square Central School District in Oswego County 11 percent 23 percent
Candor Elementary School, Candor Central School District in Tioga County 45 percent 19 percent
School 20 (the Henry Lomb School), Rochester City School District in Monroe County 127 percent 54 percent
The South Buffalo Charter School, Erie County 32 percent 44 percent
P.S. 3, Buffalo City School District in Erie County 47 percent 4 percent
School 5, Yonkers School District in Westchester County 48 percent 9 percent
Roosevelt Children's Academy Charter School in Nassau County 40 percent 21 percent
P.S. 106, New York City Community School District 27 in Queens 37 percent 18 percent
P.S. 65, New York City Community School District 27 in Queens 47 percent 11 percent
P.S. 315 Lab School, New York City Community School District 10 in the Bronx 102 percent 53 percent

Background on the Pathfinder Awards: The Pathfinder Award program is in its fifth 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 one or more public schools in each of 12 different regions across the state. These regions represent the state's judicial districts In some regions, if two schools show nearly identical levels of improvement, more than one 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: Anheuser-Bush, Inc.; Apple Computers; Buck & Pulleyn; CH Energy Group; ChevronTexaco; Golub Corporation; Consolidated Edison, Inc.; Fleet Bank; Frontier Communciations; HSBC; KeyBank; KeySpan; Metropolitan Life; Pfizer; The Pike Company; The Pioneer Development Company; Racemark International, LP; Security Mututal Life Insurance Company; and State Farm 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 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 state tests based on them that measure the performance of students and schools.