The state says over 70% of New Bedford students go to schools that rank in the bottom fifth of schools in Massachusetts.   They have identified 13 schools in the city as being "Level 3," which means they fall among the lowest 20 percent in the state.  Those schools include New Bedford High, Normandin, Roosevelt and Keith Middle Schools, along with elementary schools including Gomes, Lincoln, Brooks, Hathaway, Kempton, Congdon and Pulsaki.

About 6 of New Bedford's Level 3 schools would qualify as "priority schools" under a bill that would give the superintendent the power to extend the school day, hire without regard to seniority and dismiss or replace poorly performing teachers.    The state identifies 288 schools as level 3 in it's ranking system, which is based on a combination of student scores and growth.   According to the Department of Education website, those level 3 schools have a total of about 8,900 students, or 71 percent of the city's 12,600 currently enrolled.