Williamsburg Charter High Gets a Reprieve; Cheating at PS 31?

The saga of Williamsburg Charter High School’s closing continues. Yesterday, a judge refused the city’s request to move forward with a lottery to relocate the current students at the school. Unfortunately, this decision doesn’t necessarily help the students at WCH, as they may still need to scramble to find a new school between now and September. From the looks of it, neither the city nor the leadership of the school (which is fighting to stay open) have done right by the students in this process.

Elsewhere in the Eastern District, two highly-ranked elementary schools are being investigated for cheating on standardized tests. P.S. 31 in Greenpoint and East Williamsburg’s P.S. 257 – the two top-ranked elementary schools in the entire city based on the Department of Education’s report card system – are under investigation for helping their students excel on the standardized tests that make up a big part of the report card ranking.

The cheating was suspected after many of the students from the two schools performed worse than expected on subsequent testing at I.S. 318. The gaming of the testing system also reveals a particularly nasty side effect for the teachers at the middle school:

At I.S. 318, nearly 60 percent of teachers were rated below average or low [on DOE’s new teacher report cards]. The Daily News singled out the school for its poor performance, and many news media outlets, including The New York Times, published teachers’ ratings online. The sixth-grade teachers’ scores, which depended on the progress students made from fifth to sixth grade, were particularly poor.