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District 26 reading scores still top in city

"The schools have done really well and worked hard on teaching strategies for the skills," said Anita Saunders, local instructional superintendent for District 26. "It's not just test preparation."In late May, the state's Department of Education released results of the 2005 English language arts tests that fourth-graders are required to take. District 26, considered the city's best, which covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, and portions of Auburndale, was once again tops in the city with 89 percent of its fourth-graders meeting or exceeding state standards, a six percent increase from last year's passing percentage.The district's 21 elementary schools all had more than 70 percent of their fourth-graders make the grade, and nine of the schools had above a 90 percent passing rate, including PS 191 in Floral Park, where every fourth-grader scored at or above state standards. Other high-scoring schools include PS 188 in Oakland Gardens, with 98.8 percent of its fourth-graders doing well, and 97.8 percent of Douglaston's PS 98 students. In Little Neck, 97.3 percent of fourth-graders achieved or surpassed state requirements at PS 94, and 95.7 percent at PS 46 in Bayside. PS 221 in Little Neck also had a high number of students making the grade, with 95.6 percent of fourth-graders passing the state test. Saunders attributed the high scores to instruction that is focused on critical thinking."We have schools where children analyze questions, where they have to look and really inference what is going on, where you have to read between the lines," Saunders said. "They're really learning this stuff. There's a higher-level learning going on."Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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