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District 21 kids score better

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District 21 is getting back on track, according to a city Department of Education (DOE) administrator.

Community Superintendent Richard D’Auria told parents that students’ scores on state English Language Arts (ELA) exams increased during the last school year, which allowed the district to meet achievement targets it failed to reach the year prior.

District 21, which includes schools in Coney Island and Bensonhurst, “met all of its annual yearly progress targets across the board under [the federal] No Child Left Behind [Act],” D’Auria explained at a meeting of District 21’s Community Education Council (CEC).

If local schools continue to perform well on standardized exams, District 21 should be out of the woods, D’Auria said.

“If you are able to meet all of those targets for two consecutive years, you come off the list [of Districts In Need of Improvemen­t],” he said. “We have successfully made the first step.”

It was the test scores during the 2005-2006 school year that resulted in District 21 being deemed “in need of improvement.”

“District 21 was one of 28 New York City school districts that had been identified as a District In Need of Improvement,” D’Auria said. “That was primarily because of English Language Arts performance for English Language Learners.”

Under federal regulations, all students, even recent immigrants with a limited mastery of the English language, have to take ELA exams.

District 21 staffers will also work to boost student achievement in local high schools.

“Under state accountability, a community school district is held accountable not only for the data for the elementary and middle schools but also for the high schools,” D’Auria said.

During the last school year, some District 21 high schools were unable to meet achievement targets for specific groups of students, including those in special education programs, English Language Learners, and minorities.

To increase achievement

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