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Publication Ranks Rochester-Area Elementary Schools

Buffalo Business First has released its annual rankingsof elementary schools in the Rochester area.

Editor Scott Thomas said they compared state English and Math test scores for a four year period that included two years of Common-Core based test results, not including 2015, when a large percentage of parents had their children opt out of the exams in some districts.

"The formula we use is a relative formula, so if scores went down - which they did - when they aligned with the Common Core, it is still a question of whether a particular school did better or worse than other schools in your area."

The rankings of 161 elementary and charter schools in an 8-county area put Penfield's Cobbles Elementary at the top of the list for the third year in a row.

Schools in the Rochester City School District occupied the final 32 places on the list.

"It's a very unfortunate fact, but when you look at the test results from these schools there is a vast gap between the suburban districts and the city districts,” Thomas said. “I don't think that's a surprise to anyone."

In addition to Penfield, the Business First list has schools from Pittsford and West Irondequoit filling out the top ten.

The publication will be releasing figures next week on district spending and teacher pay, but results from past years yielded some interesting comparisons.                   

"There really is no connection between teacher pay and academic performance,” Thomas said.
“Some of the lower paying districts actually did pretty well. The one that really interested me is, we ranked teacher experience and actually there was kind of a reverse pattern. Places with less experienced teachers tended to do better."

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.