Schenectady superintendent addresses disappointing state testing - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Schenectady superintendent addresses disappointing state testing numbers


ALBANY, N.Y. -- Less than one third of students in NYS met or exceeded the ELA and math proficiency tests in grades 3-8, results the state education department calls disappointing.

"Meaning, 69 percent of them are less than proficient in English, Language, Arts and math," says NYS School Boards Association executive director, Tim Kremer.

"There is disappointment that these tests measured things that weren't completely instructed, so kids didn't have the instruction that those tests were assessing," adds Schenectady City School District Superintendent Dr. Larry Spring.

Kremer says test results have to be looked at as a baseline for the future, not an automatic failure of teachers and students this past year.

"Kids didn't get dumber and teachers didn't work less hard," he says.  "This is something where the standard, the measurement, by which this performance was measured, was different.  It was a whole new set of tests against a whole new set of standards."

Kremer says the bottom line is the common core standards and assessments are meant to prepare students from the start for college readiness and beyond.  Kremer says with any new system, it will take time to gauge, approximately three to five years.

"It is going to be a bit of a shock and a little bit demoralizing at first," says Kremer.  "But know what is being attempted here is to get better.  To put into place a public education system that is truly world class standards."

"Our knee jerk reaction as teachers, as administrators is to resort to teaching strategies that we know are not the best but they feel safer.  My job as a superintendent is to try to help people take the leap of faith and engage in the teaching strategies that they know are more powerful for student learning."

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