Mixed results for Riverhead’s math, English scores

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Aquebogue Elementary School in Aquebogue.

Riverhead School District’s student scores in standardized English tests in grades 3 to 8 were down in all but one grade in 2010-11, but scores in math were up or the same in four of the six grades, according to test results released this week by the State Education Department.

Those trends match statewide trends, which went down slightly in English and were about the same in math, according to the state.

Riverhead district scores were below the Suffolk County average in all six tests. Statewide, Riverhead’s math scores were better than the state average in all six grades tested, but English scores were lower than the state average in all six grades.

“Our test scores are not where we want them to be,” Superintendent Nancy Carney said in an email. “We are committed to redoubling our efforts to improve the overall education provided.”

The tests are given to students in grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and Math, and the state measures districts based on the percentage of students who either met or exceeded the state designated proficiency standard test score.

In English Language Arts for the 2010-11 school year, that percentage for Riverhead was as follows:

54.8 in third grade,  (down from 56.4 in 2009-10)
56.3 in fourth grade, (down from 56.4)
48.3 in fifth grade,  (down from 53.6)
55.1 in sixth grade   (up from 51.8)
38.8 in seventh grade (down from 45.3)
43.7 in eighth grade  down from 52.3)

In Math, the 2010-11 scores were as follows:

60.7 in third grade   (no change from the 2009-10 school year)
71.6 in fourth grade  (up from 44.3)
67.4 in fifth grade   (down from 68)
66.3 in sixth grade   (up from 65.1)
74.6 in seventh grade (down from 79.9)
61.5 in eight grade   (up from 58.3)

State officials indicated that they’re trying to make the tests harder, which could explain the results.

“These results underscore the urgent need for New York to continue to aggressively move forward with the implementation of the Regents’ reform agenda,” Meryl Tisch, the chair of the state Board of Regents, said in a press release about the test scores.

She said that by setting standards higher, improving assessment methods and curriculum, and by establishing a teacher evaluation system “aimed at supporting teacher excellence, we can make tremendous strides towards ensuring all of our children succeed.”

Ms. Carney said that moving forward, the district “will be relentless” in striving for the goal of providing the “best education possible for all of our students, so that they can achieve the highest level of success.”

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