The 14 Worst Schools In New York City Today

urban skyline at sunset. New York city

The 14 Worst Schools In New York City Today

New York City is the largest city in the United States and is known throughout the world as a hot spot for culture, finance, fashion, education, and everything in between. New York City has a long history, and some amazing architecture, Some of those old buildings are schools. This interesting city is known for elite private schools and excellent public institutions as well.

Throughout the years, the city has changed and revolutionized. Positive changes have affected much of the city, including the educational institutions, but some schools stayed stuck and weren't able to modernize and effectively serve students. We take a look at some of the schools that are not providing quality education, keeping students stuck behind their peers. Choosing the worst schools in New York City is determined by low test scores, reading and math proficiency, and graduation rates.  In addition, college readiness, student support, and honest feedback through staff and student surveys are important factors too. Some of the schools on the list have improved over the years, and while they have quality teachers, they are still rating a the bottom, according to Great Schools.

If you are looking for quality education in New York City, you might want to rethink these schools. Education is the stepping stone to success, and everyone deserves a good education, but unfortunately, students may not get that at these schools.

Elementary Schools

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Elementary school is where kids build the foundation of learning.

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Ps 34 Franklin D Roosevelt

At Ps 34 Franklin D Roosevelt, the students have test scores far below the average, with low scores in math, reading, biology, and science. In addition, the number of students participating in advanced courses like Algebra is lower than the average. The student-to-teacher ratio is 9:1, and 81% of the teachers have more than three years of experience. While test scores are low, the students and staff rate the school higher than average in family engagement and leadership, and trust. Plus, several reviews by staff members and parents have rated the school higher than average. It appears that the infrastructure is in place, but time and test scores will tell.

Ps 180 Hugo Newman

At Ps 180 Hugo Newman, the test scores across the board are low, but students are participating in advanced courses like Alebrgea. Students and staff rate family engagement high but student safety low. While students, family members, and staff have a mix of positive and negative reviews. Parents should thoroughly investigate the safety issues before sending students to this school.

Ps 242 The Young Diplomats Magnet School

At Ps 242 The Young Diplomats Magnet School,  math and reading scores are lower than average, while science scores are higher than average, The school was rated 2 out of 10 on Great Schools, but local families and students have given it 2.5 stars out of five. Many have concerns over the administration and their ability to work with students and families. The school has seen improvement, and it appears families are involved in their student's progress despite poor management.

Ps 197 John B Russwurm

At Ps 197 John B Russwurm, the students are performing lower than average in all subjects. The school was given a 2 by Great Schools, while the parent reviews are from over ten years ago. The school survey provides a positive teacher experience and high family engagement with a 10 to 1 student-teacher ratio. But the test scores remain low.

Ps 194 Countee Cullen

Ps 194 Countee Cullen is rated a 2 by Great Schools due to low test scores. The student-teacher ratio is 10 to 1. However, 67% of the teachers have less than three years of experience. Plus, the fact that 22% of students are English as a Second Language learners could be a big contribution to the lower test scores. The student body is 98% low-income, but the families are highly engaged in learning. While this school has low test scores, it appears there are other factors contributing to the below-average scores.

High Schools

Group of highs school students sitting at classroom and holding hand up.
High school is a place for students to explore their academic interests.


Satellite Academy High School

Satellite Academy High School is a transfer high school for students ages 16 and over that would benefit from a smaller, more focused learning environment. The school has a positive mission. However, the graduation rate is a low 13%. While test scores are far below average in all subjects. Students and staff rated the school below average on family engagement and administration. While the school has qualified teachers, the ratio is 20 to 1, so students may not be getting the support they need to thrive.

High School 560 City As School

High School 560 City As School has low test scores across the board, but despite the low scores, 56% of the students graduate. However, only 1% of those graduates go on to college or vocational school. The students and staff rate the school highly, but the test scores are far below average. The school has a high number of experienced teachers, but at a 16 to 1 students teacher ratio, it is probable that students are not receiving the individualized attention they need to succeed.

Brooklyn Bridge Academy

Brooklyn Bridge Academy only graduates 21% of the class, while only 2% go on to four-year universities and 35% go to 2-year colleges. Despite the low number of graduates, the school performs on average with the state in academics. Advanced courses like Alebgra continue to have low student enrollment and low test scores. There is little other information about teachers, admin, and family engagement. But based on only test scores, the school is one of the worst schools in New York City today.

Brownsville Academy High School

Brownsville Academy High School has continued low test scores despite having a student-teacher ratio of 12 to 1 with highly capable teachers. The graduation rate is 21%, with 46% of those graduates going on to four-year universities. According to the student and staff survey, the school is functioning well, and students and staff are content with the school. 

Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School

Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School was rated a 1 out of 10 by Great Schools due to test scores and a 12% graduation rate. The students and staff gave the school positive reviews in the survey despite the low test scores and graduation rate. The school received parent reviews of 5 out of 5, but the two reviews are over 15 years old, and the school has no current reviews from students, staff, or family.

Bushwick Community High School

Bushwick Community High School has low test scores and a graduation rate of 23%, which have earned the school a 1 out of 10 rating on Great Schools. The high student-teacher ratio at 20 to 1. The staff and student survey had the school and staff rating higher than average, but the most recent review by a parent in December 2021 gave the school just one star.

Progress High School for Professional Careers

Progress High School for Professional Careers is an interesting school because it has a 72% graduation rate despite lagging far behind in test scores throughout all subject areas. The school has negative reviews by parents and students but in the student staff survey; the school was rated above average in everything but safety. It is perplexing the high graduation rate coincides with such low academic performance. Parents considering this school should reach out and visit before enrolling.


Excited African American woman at her graduation.
College prep courses help students succeed.

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CUNY Medgar Evers College

CUNY Medgar Evers College is a public four-year university that has a graduation rate of 11.5% of students. The average salary after ten years for graduates is $38,400.

Berkley College New York

Berkely College New York is a private for-profit four-year university. Only 30% of students graduate with a Bachelor's degree in a six-year period. And the average salary after ten years for graduates is $42,600.

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