Stephen Reader covers politics for It's a Free Country, WNYC's interactive politics site. He joined the station in 2010 and has also worked for Studio 360, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning show about art, culture, and creativity.
With middle school selection season in full swing, recently-released progress reports should help inform the decisions of parents eyeing a move out of K-8 programs and into secondary education.
Schoolbook has identified and mapped the three top-rated middle schools in each school district based on their overall scores in the Department of Education’s 2011-12 progress reports. These are schools that begin in the fifth or sixth grades and continue through eighth although some go all the way through twelfth grade.
The highest scores in one district aren’t necessarily comparable to the highest scores in another. The top three scores in District 6, for example, in northern Manhattan, all had scores above 75. In eastern Brooklyn’s District 23, the three highest scores don’t even break 60. These schools each earned a C grade.
Top-Rated Middle Schools
This map shows the three middle schools in each district with the top overall scores in the DOE’s 2011-12 progress report. Green markers indicate the schools with scores of 90 or more, which are the highest overall scores in the city.
Only eight middle schools throughout the city had an overall score higher than 90. Two of them are in District 16, which covers parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. Next door, in District 17, you’ll find the top-scoring middle school in the city: The School of Integrated Learning which got a 102.2 on its 2011-12 progress report.
The Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School makes four Brooklyn middle schools with especially high scores. Three more 90-plus middle schools are located in the Bronx, and one more in upper Manhattan’s District 6.
The deadline to request testing for gifted and talented middle school programs is approaching fast: paperwork has to be in by October 24. The D.O.E. has a calendar for middle school enrollment here.
For more information about a middle school - or to compare several schools at once - type the school name in the Find + Compare window on the upper right corner of every SchoolBook page.