State test scores drop under new standards for grades 3-8
ALBANY, N.Y. - The state Education Department warned early on not to expect great results on the first English Language Arts tests given statewide to elementary students under tougher new learning standards - and they're right.
The April 2013 test results show that 31 percent of students in grades 3 through 8 scored proficient in English, with the same percentage meeting or exceeding the standard in math. That compares to last year's results of 55 percent in English and about two out of every three students meeting or exceeding the math standard.
Commissioner John B. King, Jr. says this year's state assessments are the first for New York students to measure the Common Core Learning Standards that were adopted by the State Board of Regents in 2010. The percentage of students deemed proficient is significantly lower than in 2011-12.
This change in scores – which will effectively create a new baseline of student learning – is largely the result of the shift in the assessments to measure the Common Core Standards, King says.
Summary of Statewide 3-8 Exam Results:
31.1% of grade 3-8 students across the State met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 31% met or exceeded the math proficiency standard
The ELA proficiency results for race/ethnicity groups across grades 3-8 reveal the persistence of the achievement gap: only 16.1% of African-American students and 17.7% of Hispanic students met or exceeded the proficiency standard
3.2% of English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades 3-8 met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 9.8% of ELLs met or exceeded the math proficiency standard
5% of students with disabilities met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 7% of students with disabilities met or exceeded the math proficiency standard
King emphasized that the results do not reflect a decrease in performance for schools or students. The new assessments are a better, more accurate tool for educators, students, and parents as they work together to address the rigorous demands of college and career readiness.
The New York State School Boards Association agrees.
"It is important to recognize that student achievement did not go down; instead, standards went up," Executive Director Timothy Kremer said. "The state realigned exams to more closely mirror the knowledge and skills that students will need to succeed after high school."
King noted that the scores will not negatively impact district, school, principal, or teacher accountability.
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