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New York State releases grades 3-8 test results for 2016

| August 10, 2016

The New York State Department of Education (SED) released the results of its grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and math assessments administered this past spring. Local results show that North Colonie students continue to perform well above the state average. Information on statewide data is available here. North Colonie scores are available online via Infinite Campus. There is a new feature on the left column, called campus backpack, where parents can access the scores. 

This past school year, 78 percent of students statewide in grades 3-8 took ELA and math assessments. As in prior years, results from these assessments were converted into a scoring range of 1 to 4 meant to represent student proficiency with the learning standards for a particular grade level. Scoring at levels 3 and 4 indicate a student is meeting or exceeding proficiency, while scoring at levels 1 and 2 indicate a student is below proficiency. North Colonie’s students combined levels 3-4 proficiency rates were 66 percent for math and 54 percent for ELA, compared with statewide results of 39 percent for math and 38 percent for ELA (see charts below).

While North Colonie schools saw a year-to-year increase in math and ELA results for nearly all grade levels, state education department officials, in a release about test scores, cautioned that “while the content of the 2016 tests and last year’s tests are comparable and similarly rigorous, it is not possible to make direct comparisons of the 2016 results to prior years’ results because of changes to the tests this year.”

Some of the changes SED made to the 2016 ELA and math exams include: contracting a new test vendor, requiring greater teacher involvement with the creation of the exam; reducing the number of questions on every grade 3-8 ELA and math assessments; and allowing students who are productively working to complete their exams without being timed. In addition, SED released more test questions and earlier than in the past to support instruction.

English Language Arts (ELA)
During the 2015 testing, North Colonie students in Grades 3-8 achieved an overall proficiency of 53 percent in ELA. For the 2016 testing, 54 percent of students were proficient in ELA.

Grade 3-8 Results on New York State ELA Assessments
Proficiency Levels for North Colonie and New York State

  2015 2016 2016
Grade/Test North Colonie North Colonie NYS
Grade 3 ELA 56%  57% 42%
Grade 4 ELA 57%  58% 41% 
Grade 5 ELA 40% 42%  33% 
Grade 6 ELA 47% 48%  34% 
Grade 7 ELA 54% 54%  35% 
Grade 8 ELA 66% 66%  41% 
Grades 3-8 ELA Overall 53%  54% 38% 

Math
During the 2015 testing, North Colonie students in Grades 3-8 achieved an overall proficiency of 65 percent in math. During the 2016 testing, that number increased to 66 percent.

Grade 3-8 Results on New York State Math Assessments
Proficiency Levels for North Colonie and New York State

  2015 2016 2016
Grade/Test North Colonie North Colonie NYS
Grade 3 Math 61%   62%  44%
Grade 4 Math 64% 65%  45% 
Grade 5 Math 60% 61%  40% 
Grade 6 Math 69% 70%  40% 
Grade 7 Math 63% 63%  36% 
Grade 8 Math 72% 72%  24% 
Grades 3-8 Math Overall 65%  66%  39%

What do the results mean for our schools and students?

Although state assessments do not factor into students’ grades, the scores are used to help determine which students may need additional help and the best ways to provide academic support.

Parents are encouraged to reassure children that any test is just one measure of academic progress. If their score was lower, it in no way means that they did worse in school last year. This is just one measurement of student progress.

 

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