Queens students as a whole scored slightly better than the citywide average on state math and English tests, but the overwhelming majority of the borough's eighth graders failed both the math and English tests, results released by the State Education Department show.
Aside from District 26 in northeastern Queens, which has typically been the highest performing district in the city, more than half of the eighth grade students in every Queens district failed the state's standardized English and math tests administered last spring.
Boroughwide, 68 percent of Queens eighth graders taking the math exam failed, while 58 percent failed the English exam in the eighth grade. Results were better among fourth graders, who were tested for math. Boroughwide, 58 percent passed the test.
"We're not where we want to be," said Nathaniel Washington, president of the school board in District 29 in southeast Queens, which was among the poorest performing districts in the borough for eighth-grade math and English. "But we are making strides in the right direction. We're not going down."
The lowest performing districts in Queens were District 27, which stretches from Richmond Hill to South Ozone Park and the Rockaway Peninsula, and District 29, which includes Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Laurelton.
Only 18 percent in District 27 and 15 percent in District 29 passed the eighth-grade math tests, while 27 percent in District 27 and 28 percent in District 29 passed the English and Language Arts exam, the test results show.
The citywide passing rate was 23 percent for eighth-grade math and 33 percent for eighth-grade English.
In District 26, which includes neighborhoods in Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, and parts of Fresh Meadows, 56 percent of eighth graders passed the math test and 66 percent passed the English test.
The results were better among the borough's fourth graders, who were tested for math last spring. Districts 26, 25, 28 and 30 all had more than 50 percent of fourth-grade students passing the state math exam. The citywide pass rate was 46 percent.
Statewide results reflected a similar pattern, in which eighth- grade students taking the English and math tests performed worse than fourth graders taking the math exam. Statewide 40 percent of students passed the eighth grade math exam and 45 percent passed the English exam. At the fourth grade level, 65 percent passed the math exam.
Regents Chancellor Carl T. Hayden said the results were disappointing reflection on state middle schools.
"We have seen increased success in elementary school English and more generally in high school subjects," he said in a statement last week, "but now these results are more sobering. They show continuing problems at the middle school level and we must deal with those problems."
Reach reporter Michelle Han by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.