The New York State Department of Education has released the results of Common Core-aligned math and English Language Arts exams taken this spring by students statewide, and outcomes from local districts fall in line with wider trends.
Those trends pointed to improved scores in math overall, with ELA results generally falling or staying flat.
Statewide, proficiency rates (the number of students scoring at levels 3 and 4) increased more in math than in English. In 2013, 31.2 percent of students achieved proficiency on the math exam; that number jumped to 35.8 percent in 2014. In English, the proficiency rate ticked up one-tenth of a percent, to 31.4 percent.
The tests were — and remain — a source of conflict for many parents and teachers throughout the state. Part of New York’s Common Core State Standards, state legislators delayed some of the impacts the tests have in evaluating teacher performance in reaction to opposition from the public. The standards came after New York opted into the federal program, which supplies the state with education funds otherwise not available.
This year’s results provided the first opportunity to compare students’ test performance in consecutive years. Educators with the state’s Board of Regents, which has been implementing Common Core, said that despite what some may consider low proficiency levels – numbers that opponents say defeat the students taking the tests — long-term, the plan is going as scheduled.
“This is still a transition period,” said New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch. “It will take time before the changes taking place in our classrooms are fully reflected in the test scores.”
This year’s results are below: