For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman, Tom Dunn, Alan Ray at (518) 474-1201




27 Schools Named As “Persistently Dangerous” Under NCLB


State Education Commissioner Richard Mills announced today that 27 schools have been identified as “persistently dangerous” under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. As required by federal law, the list of schools is being announced today so that parents can exercise their right of school choice.


Commissioner Mills also said this is the first of two announcements to be made. Later this year, a “Watch List” of schools will be identified that – for 2006-2007 alone – have too many serious incidents. These schools must improve to avoid being designated as “persistently dangerous” after two consecutive years. This “Watch List” will potentially be larger than the list being issued today.


“The Regents know that nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” Regents Chancellor Robert M. Bennett said. “We are determined to help schools become safe. This is a problem that involves parents, the community, and the school. We must all take action to eliminate the serious problems that exist in some schools.”


“We know school officials work hard to ensure that children in their care are safe and learn to the best of their ability,” State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said. “Nonetheless, some schools report incidents that raise serious concerns about children’s welfare. It’s critically important that school leaders intervene quickly to keep children safe.”


“To ensure children’s safety, we must have accurate information,” Commissioner Mills said. “Only then will we know where the problems are. The reporting has improved, but there is more that needs to be done. The Regents are especially concerned about large urban high schools. We have increased monitoring of schools and are working with school officials to improve safety across the State.”


Data for all schools showing all “violent and disruptive incidents” reported by schools in 2005-2006 is also available online at


Schools are designated “persistently dangerous” if they have two successive years of serious incidents (in this case, for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007) that meet or exceed criteria established by the State Education Department. Serious incidents include: homicide, forcible and other sexual offenses, robbery, assault resulting in serious physical injury or in physical injury, arson, kidnapping, reckless endangerment, and possession, use or threatened use of a weapon.


The standard is a ratio of violent incidents to enrollment in a school and is determined by the number and type of incidents. Each incident is given a weighting based on the seriousness of the incident. The weightings are added. The result is then divided by enrollment. This yields a numerical index of school violence.


A school is considered “persistently dangerous” if for both 2005-06 and 2006-07, it has either:


·       An index of 1.5 (This is approximately 6 incidents per 100 students, more or less depending on the seriousness of the incidents.)




·       At least 60 serious incidents and an index of at least .50.


Seventeen of the 27 “persistently dangerous” schools are newly named this year; 10 remain from last year. The list of schools is attached.


A total of 8 schools were removed this year from the list of “persistently dangerous” schools, issued last year, because they reported fewer serious incidents. That list is also attached.


The other 49 states last year reported a total of 30 schools as “persistently dangerous.” States set their own criteria for identifying schools.




All schools designated as “persistently dangerous” must provide school choice to students where transfer options exist. Each school also receives a $100,000 grant to help improve school safety. School districts must also submit an Incident Reduction Plan for each school to show the specific steps that the district will take to reduce the number of violent incidents and improve safety at the school. Staff from the New York State Center for School Safety and Regional School Support Centers also provide help to each school to improve safety.

A total of 51 schools reported 2005-2006 data that indicated they might be eligible for the list of “persistently dangerous” schools. They were asked to submit 2006-2007 data. Those data were evaluated, and 17 new schools were designated “persistently dangerous.”


Commissioner Mills also announced that the State Education Department is taking the following actions to ensure accuracy in reporting of violent and disruptive incidents:


·     Monitoring and auditing of schools is ongoing. During the past year, the State Education Department conducted site visits to 100 schools to review reported data. The monitoring and site visits will continue this year.


·     Priority for monitoring is given to those schools that are at-risk, schools that reported a large reduction in incidents, schools that reported zero incidents, and schools where staff or community members have alleged that improprieties exist.


·                  The purpose of the monitoring and site visits is to:

·                  Review violent and disruptive incident data reported by selected school districts,

·                  Provide technical assistance that will improve data reports for the fall,

·                  Identify what additional professional development is needed, and

·                  Identify further actions that can improve our reporting system.


·     If as a result of the monitoring, any schools have underreported and should be on the list of “persistently dangerous” schools or the “watch list,” they are added.


·     The State Education Department created a single, uniform training program and has provided extensive in-person regional training to school districts all over the state. Last year, over 1,600 staff from virtually all school districts were trained. Training sessions for school administrators are continuing now.


·     Training covers the rules for reporting, answers questions about specific incidents, and explains how to make schools safer.


·     Extensive explanatory materials are available on the web. Web-based training and written Question and Answer documents provide guidance that is constantly expanded as new questions are submitted.


·     Districts report electronically, and the Department has streamlined Incident Reports to make them more user-friendly. Districts receive advice on web-based software to use for easier reporting.





- 30 -





Seventeen Schools Newly Designated as Persistently Dangerous for 2007-08





School 8

Rochester City School District

PS 14

New York City – CSD #31

PS 723

New York City – District 75

Powell Middle School

New York City – CSD # 5

MS 399

New York City – CSD #10

PS 47 American Sign Language

New York City – CSD #2

JHS 44

New York City – CSD #3

IS 49 Bertha Dreyfus

New York City – CSD #31

MS 296 South Bronx Academy

New York City – CSD #7

PS 90 Edna Cohen

New York City – CSD#21

MS 298 Academy for Public Relations

New York City – CSD #7

MS 002 (District 17)

New York City – CSD#17

Jamaica High School

New York City – CSD #28

MS 571

New York City – CSD #13

PS 368

New York City – District 75

PS 36

New York City – District 75

PS 169

New York City – District 75




Ten Previously Named Schools Will Remain

On the List of Persistently Dangerous Schools




Berkshire Junior-Senior high School

Berkshire UFSD

PS 94

New York City – District 75

PS 811

New York City – District 75

PS 12

New York City – District 75

PS 17

New York City – District 75

PS 754

New York City – District 75

PS 140

New York City – District 75

PS 9

New York City – District 75

PS 752

New York City – District 75

Samuel Tilden High School

New York City – CSD #18





These schools have been removed from the list:






Philip Livingston

Albany City School District

Thomas Jefferson

Rochester City Schools

Charlotte HS

Rochester City Schools

JHS 78- Roy Mann

New York City – CSD #22

PS 109

New York City – CSD #22

PS 370 Jim Thorpe

New York City – District 75

PS 721

New York City – District 75

Hillside Hospital PS 23 (Queens)

New York City – District 75