2007-12-21 / Community

DOE Thinks Peninsula Preparatory Is A Failure

Charter School Gets 'F' On First Report Card
By Nicholas Briano

While most of the 14 charter schools tested under the Department of Education's controversial grading system scored either an Aor B, The Peninsula Preparatory Academy, now located inside of Middle School 53 in Far Rockaway, but slated to move to Arverne By The Sea, was the only charter to receive an F as a grade, putting the school in an intense spotlight.

Even though the report cards for the charter schools clearly show better results than their public school counterparts, Peninsula Preparatory in Far Rockaway is struggling mightily according to DOE standards.

According to reports, the lone failing charter school got an F because the students showed little progress in their math scores.

However, records show, of the students met tough state standards for academics.

Peninsula Preparatory joins 14 traditional city schools that received grades of either D or F on the mayor's new "report card" system.

The system relies heavily on test grades, but also takes into account such items as improved performance and attendance rates.

The school, which wants to move out of its existing building and into a new home sometime in the future, is temporarily moving to a space this February in the new Arverne by the Sea complex on Beach 62 Street.

While the developers of Arverne By The Sea must build a school as part of their mandate, it is unclear as to whether the move by PPA to temporary spaces there means that it has the inside track on running that new school when it is finally built in 2009 or 2010.

Gerard Romski, the CEO for Arverne By The Sea, told The Wave prior to the announced F grade for the school, that negotiations with the charter school are underway, but no agreement has yet been reached.

The Wave attempted to contact Romski to find out of the reported F grade would change anything, but he was unavailable for comment.

A spokesperson for the school would only comment, "We are committed to moving forward and making progress for our students."

It isn't certain whether or not there will be any other failing charter schools when an additional 60 schools that have only one or two years of experience are graded next year, but as it stands Peninsula Preparatory Charter School's only issue is not location anymore, because according to the their "report card" their academics fail to live up to city standards.

The Peninsula Preparatory School was founded three years ago by State Senator Malcolm Smith, who still has ties to the program.

Smith was not available for comment on the failing report card grade.

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