Local school rankings by Buffalo Business First

The journal Buffalo Business First has posted its yearly school rankings for WNY schools, according to academic performance, for Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.

It has ranked all 262 Elementary Schools, public, private and charter. (A Buffalo school makes the top 10, can you guess which one?)

Elementary Schools Ranked

Methodology: Here’s what BBF says about their methods. (truncated). Full article here.

“All of Business First’s rankings are based on the latest four years of test results and graduation rates available from the New York State Education Department.

This year’s rankings have been generated from data for the period of 2011 through 2014.

The formulas detailed on this page make use of these statistics to calculate an annual score (on a 100-point scale) for each district or school. Annual scores for the past four years are then averaged according to a 4-3-2-1 ratio, with the most recent year being given the greatest weight.”


(From BBF article). Business First rates all Western New York public and private elementary schools that participate in the statewide testing program for third and/or fourth graders, as well as all Rochester Area public elementary schools that take part in the same program.

Fifty percent of each school’s annual score is determined by its students’ scores on the statewide English tests for third, fourth and fifth graders.

The other 50 percent is based on the statewide math tests for third, fourth and fifth graders.

That means a total of 12 statistical indicators are analyzed to determine each elementary school’s annual score — two results per test, six tests per year. That equals 48 indicators over a four-year period.

If a school did not offer a specific statewide test (such as an elementary school that does not extend to fifth grade), or if fewer than five students took a given test, that exam was excluded from Business First’s calculations for that school. No penalty was assessed.

Three types of elementary schools have not been rated:

• Schools that have been open for less than two years, or that have not generated at least two years of test data.

• Elementary schools that don’t extend to third grade.

• Private schools that don’t participate in the statewide testing program.


Posts on Middle and Highs to follow. I’m not actually sure why we need a ranking of Elementary Schools, but hey, there’s data, and we love rankings. One thing it obviously shows is that the Buffalo public schools are, with a few exceptions, at the bottom of the entire region, and yes, you can move to Amherst, Williamsville, or Clarence and get a high-performing public ES.



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