State Test Scores Rise at Island School

September 24, 2017

State test scores are in, giving parents a fresh snapshot of the status of academics at PS/IS 217.


For the most part, the news is good: The portion of children at PS/IS 217 considered “proficient” in reading and writing in grades 3-8 jumped 12 percentage points over 2016, reaching 65 percent, while proficiency in math jumped 6 points to 64 percent. That means nearly two-thirds of the students scored a 3 or 4 on the tests (a 3 is considered at grade level, while a 4 is above grade level), putting the school well ahead of the state and citywide results.


But challenges remain. The performance of the middle school (sixth, seventh and eighth grades) remains far below that of the lower grades, despite making significant gains. And black and Latino students continue to trail their white and Asian counterparts, though all those groups made improvements relative to the prior year.


“We are very happy that test scores went up again at 217. I think it reflects the wonderful community of educators that our school attracts and great collaboration with parents that the administration has fostered,” said the school’s PTA President Erin Olavesen.


The state tests measure math and English language arts (ELA) for students in third through eighth grade, using standards that were adopted by the State Board of Regents in 2010. According to, the benchmarks more accurately reflect students’ progress toward college and career readiness than previous standards did. 


Percentage Students Proficient in 2016-2017 State Tests



Test scores have gone up citywide. In math, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) reported an increase of 1.3 percentage points compared with 2016 scores. ELA scores have increased citywide by 2.6 percentage points since last year. The increase at PS/IS 217 significantly outpaced the citywide average.


Statewide, only 39.8 percent of students achieved the proficient rating in ELA and 40.2 percent were considered proficient at math.


Test scores in the elementary grades (third, fourth, and fifth), show the school’s performance to be competitive with many other District 2 elementary schools. In both math and ELA, 71 percent of elementary students at PS/IS 217 were proficient, compared 74 percent (math) and 71 percent (ELA) of elementary students in District 2.  In math, third grade test scores were even higher – at 85 percent proficient – than the overall District 2 average of 76 percent for third graders.


Percentage Elementary Students (Grades 3-5) Proficient in 2016-2017 State Tests



Middle school scores lagged behind those of the elementary school – and the rest of the district – considerably. Of students in grades sixth through eighth, 42 percent were proficient ELA and 38 percent were proficient in math, putting them just slightly above the Statewide scores for middle school students. Still, the school saw some significant gains there as well. Seventh graders scored 50 percent proficient in ELA, a jump of 25 percentage points over the previous year. Sixth grade proficiency rates for ELA jumped 20 points to 44 percent. Sixth and seventh graders also improved in math with 45 percent of sixth graders proficient (up 15 percentage points) and 52 percent of seventh graders proficient (up 12 percentage points). 


Percentage Middle School Students (Grades 6-8) Proficient in 2016-2017 State Tests


Three NYC Gifted and Talented schools – New Explorations into Science, Tech and Math High School (NEST); Anderson School; and PS 77 Lower Lab School – achieved perfect scores with 100 percent proficiency.


More data, and school-by-school comparisons, can be found at


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