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Raising the Stakes: Investing in a Community School Model to Lift Student Achievement in Community School District 16January 1, 2013
Brooklyn's Community School District 16 (CSD16) is a chronically low-performing district that encompasses the eastern half of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a section of northeastern Crown Heights, and a small portion of Brownsville. CSD16 consists of 26 traditional public schools with a total enrollment of 9,900 students. Eighty percent of CSD16 students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. CSD16 serves 11 public housing complexes.In CSD16, 45% of girls and 34% percent of boys in grade three tested at or above grade level for English Language Arts in 2010-2011, as compared to 56% and 55% respectively for New York State overall. Similarly, 52% of girls and 49% of boys in CSD16 tested at or above grade level for math in grade three, as compared to 60% and 59% respectively for New York State overall. Of the CSD16 students who were in grade nine in 2006-2007, 50% received Regents diplomas in 2010-2011. CSD16 had a 44% graduation rate in a city where 59% is the average.The metric used to determine college and career readiness, however, is even more troubling. Students are considered college ready in New York when they score 75% or higher on their English Regents and 80% or higher on their Math Regents. Of the four high schools located in CSD16 with 2011-2012 graduating classes, two had a 5% college readiness rate among graduates over a four year period, one had a 3% rate, and the remaining had a college readiness rate of 0.0%.In citing these statistics, this report makes the case that CSD16 has significant challenges that severely undermine the efforts of Black and Brown families to provide opportunities for their children to thrive educationally. At the same time, CSD16 has strengths. For example, there are strong nonprofit institutions and a civically engaged working-and middle-class, which offer opportunities for individual community-based donors, established foundations, and public sector agencies to team up with local stakeholders to improve the educational outcomes of students in CSD16.