Interpreting 3-8 ELA & Mathematics Tests, Results, & Score Reports

Interpreting 3-8 ELA & Mathematics Tests, Results, & Score Reports

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“The world has changed, the economy has changed, and what our students need to know has changed. These scores reflect a new baseline and a new beginning. We have just finished the first year of a dramatic shift in teaching and learning. Teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards have worked extraordinarily hard to implement the Common Core. With the right tools, the right training, and continuous feedback and support, our teachers – the best teaching force in the country — will make sure all our students are prepared for college and career success in the 21st century."

-- Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch

Excerpts from NYSED news release on grades 3-8 assessment results

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. released the results of the April 2013 grades 3-8 math and English Language Arts (ELA) assessments.   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.  King said that, as expected, the percentage of students deemed proficient is significantly lower than in 2011-12. This change in scores -- which will effectively create a new baseline measurement of student learning -- is largely the result of the shift in the assessments to measure the Common Core Standards, which more accurately reflect students’ progress toward college and career readiness. 

King emphasized that the results do not reflect a decrease in schools’ or students’ performance.  The new assessments are a much better, more accurate tool for educators, students, and parents as they work together to address the rigorous demands of the Common Core and college and career readiness in the 21st century.

King said these new results are consistent with other indicators of the college and career readiness of New York State students including the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), NYS student performance on the SAT and PSAT, and college and career ready scores on New York State’s high school Regents exams.

King noted that the scores will not negatively impact district, school, principal, or teacher accountability. No new districts will be identified as Focus Districts and no new schools will be identified as Priority schools based on 2012-13 assessment results.  The student growth scores used in teacher and principal evaluation result in similar proportions of educators earning each rating category (Highly Effective, etc) in 12-13 as 11-12.  The State provided growth scores to be used in teacher and principal evaluations are based on year-to-year comparisons for similar students.  

The “cut” scores used to rate students’ proficiency level on a scale of 1-4 were set by a panel of 95 teachers, principals and other educators from around the state at a five-day conference in June.

Tisch and King both expressed concern that the learning gap for low income students, African-American and Hispanic students, and English Language Learners \ remains unacceptable.     

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 

Across the Big 5 city school districts, a smaller percentage of students met or exceeded the ELA and math proficiency standards than the rest of the state (although NYC’s performance is much closer to the statewide performance):

  • In Buffalo, 11.5% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 9.6% met or exceeded the math proficiency standard (29.9% last year).
  • In Yonkers, 16.4% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 14.5% met or exceeded the math proficiency standard 
  • In New York City, 26.4% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 29.6% met or exceeded the math proficiency standard
  • In Rochester, 5.4% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 5% met or exceeded the math proficiency standard
  • In Syracuse, 8.7% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard; 6.9% met or exceeded the math proficiency standard 
Created on: 
Friday, August 2, 2013
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