NYS Education Dept. hands out school report cards

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The state Education Department released its list of schools in need of improvement Tuesday, and several districts in Rockland and Orange counties appeared on it once again.

In Orange, the Middletown and Newburgh school districts made the list of districts needing improvement for the fourth year, while in Rockland, the East Ramapo Central School District was the only one singled out for needing improvement.

The school that received the worst grade on the state's report card for the East Ramapo district was Pomona Middle School, which has been on the watch list for four years in a row.

"Clearly we are deficient in what we're doing in the school, and clearly we have an obligation to do better by our students," says Nathan Rothschild, president of the East Ramapo School Board.

The report card for North Rockland High School in the North Rockland Central School District puts it in good standing, achieving high marks in the core subjects of math and English, as well the in overall performance of students with disadvantages.

"Our students with disabilities and students with limited English are doing much better in the last couple of years in state assessments," says North Rockland High School Principal Michael Gill.

The state report cards factor in standardized test scores from grade school through middle school, as well as results of Regents exams at the high school level. Gill says a good report card means celebrating the success of students and staff.

"It gives us an opportunity to take some of the good things going on and continue to improve in all areas of the school," he says.

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