District Contact Information

Daniel T. Connor

227 Main Street
Goshen, NY 10924
(845) 615-6720

Central School District

District News

Decrease anticipated under first year of new tests on Common Core

Grades 3-8 test scores released in new era of curriculum and assessment

"These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century."

Dr. John B. King Jr.,
Commissioner of Education

August 8, 2013 - On August 7, the State Education Department released results of the grades 3-8 exams that students took in April 2013—revamped math and English Language Arts tests that reflect the new, more difficult Common Core Learning Standards that were adopted by the State Board of Regents in 2010.

These standards were designed in order to enhance student progress towards college and career readiness. The new curriculum requires students to learn—and teachers to teach—new skills, concepts and different ways of approaching questions and solving problems.

In addition, many concepts are now taught to students at a different time of the year or in earlier grade levels than in the past.

Decrease in scores reflect higher learning standards

As expected, the massive changes in curriculum, testing and scoring practices resulted in a significant decrease in student proficiency levels across the state. However, education officials strongly caution against comparing the 2012-2013 scores with those from previous years.

In a press release from the New York State Education Department, Commissioner of Education Dr. John B. King, Jr., stated "These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century. I understand these scores are sobering for parents, teachers, and principals. It's frustrating to see our children struggle. But we can't allow ourselves to be paralyzed by frustration; we must be energized by this opportunity. The results we've announced today are not a critique of past efforts; they're a new starting point on a roadmap to future success.”

How are the exams scored?

As in the past, students are scored according to the following scale:

  • Level 4: Student excels in Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for his/her grade level.

  • Level 3: Student is proficient in CCLS for his/her grade level.

  • Level 2: Student is not proficient in CCLS for the grade level (partially proficient, but insufficient).

  • Level 1: Student is well below proficient in standards for the grade level.

As predicted, the proficiency levels for the Goshen Central School District – as well as districts across the state – dropped with the introduction of the more rigorous exams, with 37% fewer students achieving a level three or four in the 2012-13 school year.

Exam Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1
Grade 3 ELA 4.4% 31.1% 38.2% 26.3%
Grade 3 Math 7.4 21.0 41.5 30.1
Grade 4 ELA 8.6 27.3 41.2 23.0
Grade 4 Math 1.6 12.2 51.1 35.1
Grade 5 ELA 9.9 27.7 44.6 17.8
Grade 5 Math 3.7 21.8 46.1 28.4
Grade 6 ELA 20.2 21.0 41.1 17.7
Grade 6 Math 6.8 21.3 51.8 20.1
Grade 7 ELA 7.1 31.1 44.9 16.9
Grade 7 Math 4.0 29.8 42.2 24.0
Grade 8 ELA 15.4 26.7 41.2 16.7
Grade 8 Math 5.5 30.0 50.9 13.6

It is important to remember that decreases in student scores should not be interpreted as a decline in student learning or teacher performance. Instead, the scores will be the new baseline from which schools and districts can measure student performance.

“As the district continues to move toward full alignment with the Common Core, we expect student achievement to increase and with that our performance on all state tests,” said Dr. Frank Sheboy, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, Personnel and Technology. “We believe that the Common Core represents a very rigorous set of standards that will ultimately benefit our students as well as the students of New York State.”

What do the results mean for our schools and students?

State leaders have emphasized the fact that these new standards will ultimately strengthen instructional programs. In Goshen, the aggregate results will be a valuable measure of the district’s efforts to implement the new curriculum.
It is important to note the scores do not factor into student’s grades. Scores on state assessments have historically been a prominent factor in determining if a student requires formal remedial instruction, known as Academic Intervention Services (AIS). The state is currently reviewing AIS guidelines in light of the changes to the curriculum and testing and the results of the 2013 assessments.

Any parents with questions about their children’s results are encouraged to contact their children’s school principal or teacher(s) for the 2013-14 school year.

“Because of dramatic changes in both the new curriculum and the exams, it was expected that test scores would decrease,” said Superintendent Daniel Connor. “We should not be surprised or disappointed. Moving forward, we expect to see test scores rise as students and teachers adapt to the new expectations and required shifts in teaching and learning. We continue to be committed to this goal and to preparing our students for success in college and careers.”