Decrease anticipated under first year of new tests on
Grades 3-8 test scores released in new era of curriculum and
"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
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
How are the exams scored?
As in the past, students are scored according to the
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.
Grade 3 ELA
Grade 3 Math
Grade 4 ELA
Grade 4 Math
Grade 5 ELA
Grade 5 Math
Grade 6 ELA
Grade 6 Math
Grade 7 ELA
Grade 7 Math
Grade 8 ELA
Grade 8 Math
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.”