In 2019, our students’ academic ascent continued

By Ascend September 15, 2019

We are proud and gratified to announce that for the fourth year in a row, Ascend’s students – benefiting from Ascend’s unique blend of a rigorous liberal arts course of study combined with a warm, restorative cultural model – have  posted strong gains on the New York State (NYS) Common Core exams. In 2019, 61 percent of Ascend students were found proficient or advanced in English language arts—an increase of three percentage points over the previous year—and 72 percent were found proficient in mathematics—an increase of six percentage points.

Further, we are pleased to announce that in school year 2019 Ascend graduated its first high school class, with a remarkable 97 percent of the class graduating on time, and 100 percent of our graduates admitted to college.

These results continue a remarkable stretch of academic growth for Ascend: over the past four years, network-wide proficiency has increased 35 percentage points in ELA, and 40 points in math—the highest four-year gains, in each subject, among large New York City charter networks.

Ascend is living up to its promise to provide a superior education to the children of Central Brooklyn. Over this four-year period, Ascend’s students’ academic growth exceeded that of students in each of Ascend’s host Community School Districts (CSDs), as well as that of students in New York City and New York State district and charter schools. In 2019, Ascend students in every school, grade, and subject achieved proficiency rates higher than their district peers—in many instances by more than 40 percentage points.

In a notable achievement, and signaling progress toward realizing Ascend’s mission, for the second year in a row Ascend’s black students achieved proficiency rates greater than that of their white peers statewide in both subjects, thereby reversing the achievement gap by race. Ascend’s economically disadvantaged students outperformed their non-economically disadvantaged peers statewide in math, reversing the achievement gap by income, and came within one percentage point of doing so in ELA.

As we enter a new decade and recommit ourselves to the work of ensuring that all students are afforded the opportunity to succeed in college, career, and life, we are encouraged and energized by our progress. Thanks to the hard work of our intellectually curious students, the dedication of our gifted educators, our partnership with our fiercely committed families, and the proven strength of Ascend’s innovative educational program, we are proving that what many deem impossible is in fact possible. Ascend is demonstrating that truly public schools that embrace an empowering and nurturing culture and invite students’ intellectual curiosity and exploration can be the engines that drive students to lives of meaning, purpose, and joy.