Wednesday, 14 August 2013 15:38
Long Island students in grades three through eight saw their New York State test scores plummet by 40 percent compared to last year, but education administrators are telling parents not to fret because this year doesn’t compare to last year.
Following the results being released, John Lorentz, Farmingdale School District’s supertintendent, released the following statement:
“The Farmingdale School District prides itself in preparing our students to achieve their goals throughout their academic careers and in their future endeavors. The State Education Department advised schools districts across the region that the English Language Arts and Math state test scores were expected to go down because not enough time was allotted for students to get acquainted with the state’s newly introduced curriculum.
“We know that these results are not a true reflection of what our students accomplished throughout the 2012-2013 school year. However, we will use these results to make further adjustments in preparing our students for future exams. As always, we will continue to work with our faculty and the community to ensure that our students will be prepared to the best of their abilities to meet these challenges.”
Instead, the scores create a new benchmark for measuring student performance going forward. This test was the first based on the “common core learning standards,” developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices in conjunction with state education officers, and voluntarily adopted by the NYS Board of Regents in 2010.
“The world has changed, the economy has changed, and what our students need to know has changed,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said. “These scores reflect a new baseline and a new beginning.” The first cohort of students required to pass Common Core-aligned Regents exams for high school graduation will be the class of 2017.
Because the common core standards are more rigorous, the drop in scores was not unexpected. Earlier this month, Commissioner King sent a memo to school district superintendents, urging them to use the new scores judiciously when assessing teachers and students.
“These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century,” King said. “The results we’ve announced today are not a critique of past efforts; they’re a new starting point on a roadmap to future success.”
The state education department is providing guidance for districts to ensure that students are not negatively impacted by the low scores.
Christy Hinko and Michael Scro contributed to this article.