State lists 4 Brentwood schools as needing improvement

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BRENTWOOD -

The New York Board of Regents lists some Long Island schools as needing improvement, including four in the Brentwood School District.

"It doesn't feel good, obviously, to be in the bottom 10 percent," says Brentwood Superintendent Richard Loeschner. "We're kind of strategizing on what interventions we need to put in place in order to improve in many of the areas."

Education officials are using a new system to rate schools statewide. Schools are graded on student achievement in main subject areas, participation in state testing, proficiency by English language learners and mutliyear graduation rates. The new ranking system is required by the 2015 federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Roger Tilles, the Long Island representative to the Board of Regents, says he doesn't agree with some of the criteria used in the scoring process, such as the number of opt-outs from state testing. He says a high opt-out rate unfairly lowers the score of a district.

"I think a lot of this, what they call accountability, has been counterproductive to good education," Tilles says.

Loeschner says the ratings don't tell the full story in Brentwood.

"We have a tremendous graduation rate. We also have a Regeneron scholarship winner," he says. "We send kids to Ivy League schools by the dozens every single year."

Each school on the list gets an extra $25,000 in funding from the state. The district also receives an additional $25,000.

School districts need to submit an improvement plan to the state.

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