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State releases math, ELA assessment scores

exam bubble sheetThe New York State Department of Education on Aug. 12 released district and school results for the English and math assessments that students in grades three through eight took in the spring of 2015.

As in the past, students' scores on the tests are converted into a scoring range of 1 through 4 meant to indicate the degree of proficiency in the Common Core Learning Standards for the grade level. Scores at level 3-4 indicate proficiency (4 means that a student excels in the standards), while levels 1-2 indicate a student is below proficiency.

Overall, students statewide have made incremental progress in ELA and math since 2013, the first year assessments aligned to the more rigorous learning standards were administered in grades 3-8.

Overall, Marcellus scored above the New York state and Onondaga County averages on all tests, and improved over its 2013-14 scores in one-third of the tests. 

In Marcellus, 55.5 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored at a level 3 or 4 on the mathematics exams, and 43 percent of students scored a 3 or 4 on the English language arts exams. Overall proficiency rates statewide were 38.1 in math and 31.3 in ELA. (See the chart below for details.)

“Teachers and administrators in Marcellus will now begin a thorough analysis of the spring 2015 assessment results,” Superintendent of Schools Judith Pastel said. “This data review will determine how we can best equip our students to meet the challenge of New York state’s more rigorous standards and, ultimately, prepare them for college and career in the 21st  century."

Percentage of students scoring at a level 3 or 4
New York state Marcellus
  2013-2014 2014-2015 2013-2014 2014-2015
Grade 3 Math 42.2 % 42.0 % 69 % 64.6 %
Grade 4 Math 42.6 % 42.3 % 55 % 51.4%
Grade 5 Math 40.0 % 42.7 % 48 % 52.0 %
Grade 6 Math 38.1 % 38.8 % 69% 66.3 %
Grade 7 Math 32.9 % 34.8 % 63 % 65.2%
Grade 8 Math 22.2 % 21.9 % 40 % 33.4 %
Grade 3 ELA 31.8 % 31.0 % 48 % 41.6 %
Grade 4 ELA 33.2 % 32.6 % 40 % 37.0 %
Grade 5 ELA 29.7 % 29.7 % 50 % 41.5 %
Grade 6 ELA 28.9 % 30.6 % 48 % 58.0 %
Grade 7 ELA 29.5 % 29.2 % 35 % 41.2 %
Grade 8 ELA 35.5 % 34.7 % 44 % 38.5 %

“The transition to new learning standards is not easy, and success isn’t instantaneous,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “Teachers across the state are working hard to help students reach the high bar we’ve set for them. In fact, we’ve increased seven points in math in two years. Thousands more of New York’s students are on track to graduate high school prepared to do more rigorous math. Now is the time for the state and districts to make certain that students move to the next level. It’s clear to me that we must do a better job of supporting our teachers and principals as they continue to shift their practice to the higher learning standards.”

The state education department this year also released information on the number of students who opted out of the state exams in 2015. Eighty percent of eligible students took the exams; 20 percent of eligible test-takers did not have “a recognized, valid reason for not participating.”
Marcellus had an opt-out rate of 14 percent.

“This year, there was a significant increase in the number of students refusing the annual assessments,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said. “We must do more to ensure that our parents and teachers understand the value and importance of these tests for our children’s education. Our tests have been nationally recognized for providing the most honest look at how prepared our students are for future success, and we believe annual assessments are essential to ensure all students make educational progress and graduate college and career ready.”

Additional Resources:
Some content courtesy of Capital Region BOCES School Communications Portfolio; Copyright 2013; All rights reserved. For more information or permission to use, call 518-464-3960.

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