Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 29, 2013

Lew-Port Middle School administrators trying to turn around state testing results


Niagara Gazette — Instead, New York provided the districts with adequate yearly progress reports, which gauge how students progress as they move throughout the system. No longer looking at sixth grade students year after year, districts are graded on how well a graduating class performs every year.

This progress is charted for classes as well as subsets of the student population, ranging from race classifications to gender and economic standing at home. Unfortunately for Lew-Port Middle, some of these subsets failed in 11-12 to make the progress needed. The biggest shock, though, comes in the form of which subsets didn’t succeed: white students.

It’s all part of a situation which left Superintendent R. Christopher Roser noticeably upset Tuesday evening. He interrupted Ramirez’s presentation looking for answers on how the principal would turn the ship around. Much of the solution, Ramirez said, will hopefully come with a restructured schedule with more instruction time for students throughout the day. A new approach to teaching in the flipped classroom model may also lend itself to higher scores eventually.

Roser’s mood didn’t change after the meeting, though he did recognize Ramirez isn’t necessarily to blame for the poor showing that school year.

“Looking back over the last five years or so, we had (Vincent Dell’Oso) here, then two interim,” Roser said. “Then we had Karen (Cuddy-Miller) here for about a year. Then another interim. Now we have Dean (Ramirez) here. That’s six different principals in the last five years here. We’ve certainly had a lot of transition at the position.

“It’s a disappointment because I look at it as underachieving, when we should be at the other end of the spectrum. It’s the lack of continuity in our leadership ... because when we go to the high school, these kids will have 97 percent passing rate, a 94 percent passing rate. They didn’t get smarter all of a sudden, they’re just not succeeding in the middle school.”

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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