Each North Bellmore school also met the performance index and gap closing criteria. Pollit explained that, to meet criteria for the performance index, which measures performance on state tests, an elementary school’s unweighted English Language Arts and math scores had to place in the top 20 percent of all schools at their level. In terms of gap closing, the state’s status report indicated that “accountability groups,” such as the economically disadvantaged, did not have more than a four-point gap between their performance indexes between 2010-11 and 2011-12.
To attain Reward School status for the student growth percentile, a school’s combined average ELA and math scores had to show more than 50 percent growth. Both Board of Education trustees and Pollitt noted that it is difficult for already high-performing schools to meet this standard, and that Park Avenue and Dinkelmeyer were close to doing so, along with Martin Avenue, Newbridge Road and Saw Mill Road.
“The other two schools were not very far below the standard; one was just within six-tenths of a point, and the other was just two points away,” Pollitt said. “It’s not like we are so far off on that. If the scores are very high, it doesn’t really allow much room for growth.”