08/21/14 2:12pm
08/21/2014 2:12 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON  FILE PHOTO

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO

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:

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08/16/14 8:00am
08/16/2014 8:00 AM
Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) and Senator Ken LaValle at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) and Senator Ken LaValle at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Common Core is a federal government power grab disguised as a “revamping” of our nation’s educational system — an educational system that, with all its flaws, managed to produce people who put a man on the moon and gave the world the Internet.  (more…)

08/03/14 12:00pm
08/03/2014 12:00 PM
Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

There may be another party line on the November ballot for state office seekers.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the GOP challenger facing Governor Andrew Cuomo in the upcoming election, has launched a petition effort to establish a Stop Common Core party line focused on capturing voters unhappy with the controversial Common Core State Standards initiative.  (more…)

05/29/14 11:59am
05/29/2014 11:59 AM
The Riverhead Charter School in Calverton.

The Riverhead Charter School in Calverton.

Riverhead Charter School has been in and out of the local newspapers this year due to allegations of “Union busting.”  The local newspapers have done an excellent job with covering these allegations. We commend the media for providing the public with unbiased accounts of the happenings at RCS.  (more…)

05/02/14 6:00am
05/02/2014 6:00 AM
David Gamberg during a school board meeting in Southold. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

David Gamberg during a school board meeting in Southold. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

What would make the most sense about developing and promoting the necessary ingredients for a high-quality public education system in the United States? Would it be an agenda made up of the highest standards possible? Of course, but in and of itself this would fall short of a full-bodied agenda for success. (more…)

03/27/14 1:00pm
03/27/2014 1:00 PM

Riverhead superintendent Nancy Carney, left, and Shoreham-Wading River Superintendent Steven Cohen.

Amid increasingly intense scrutiny of standardized testing as a means of improving teacher and student performance, the opt-out movement — which encourages refusal to take the tests used to measure New York’s educators — appears to be gaining some traction locally. This year, in the Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River districts, and at the Riverhead Charter School, more parents than ever before are refusing to let their children sit for the upcoming state assessments.  (more…)

02/26/2014 9:00 AM

Veterans came out to support a tax exemption, which the Shoreham-Wading River school board voted in favor of Tuesday night. (Joe Werkmeister photo)

For nearly 40 minutes Tuesday night, a group of about 20 veterans sat patiently in the Shoreham-Wading River High School library listening to the Board of Education debate the procedure for middle school students to play varsity sports.

Finally, an older man in the group stood up and admitted: “I do believe most of us can’t contribute anything to what you’re doing, which is extremely interesting.”  (more…)