City scores inch higher on ELA, math tests

Minor gains were made in state test scores for third to eighth graders across New York.
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By Naeisha Rose

The state Education Department released the city and state proficiency test scores for English Language Arts and Math of students in third to eighth grade, which showed a small uptick in performance.

“Real progress takes time,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “So, the test scores we’re announcing today are a positive sign that we continue to steadily head in the right direction. We’ve taken a deliberate, inclusive and transparent approach to develop the State’s draft ESSA plan as well as changes to our standards and assessments. We’re confident that this careful approach will continue to yield benefits for our students.”

Throughout the state of New York 39.8 percent of students were proficient in ELA and 40.2 percent of students were proficient in math statewide exams, according to the state’s DOE website.That is a 1.9 percent increase from 37.9 percent last year for ELA scores, and a 1.1 percent increase from 39.1 percent in math according to the data provided.

The proficiency exams are graded on a one to four scale. A score of four indicates a student excels at a subject, three states a student is proficient in the math or english, a two shows partial proficiency and a one depicts partial proficiency, according to the department’s rules.

Of the five regions, which include New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers, Yonkers has the highest gains in ELA test scores followed by New York City. New York City scores increased by 2.6 percent to 40.6 percent of students this year from 38 percent last year. Yonkers had a 3.6 percent increase to 29.6 percent from 26 percent last year, according to the data set.

Yonkers and New York City were in the same position in terms of math score improvements. Yonkers’ increased by 3.7 percent to 28.3 percent in 2017 from 24.6 percent in 2016. City students made gains of 1.4 percent in 2017 to 36.4 percent from 37.8 percent in 2016, according to data from the department broken down by race and state.

Native Americans and black students had gains in city and state ELA exams. Both had statewide scores improve by 2.8 percent. For black students that worked out to 29 percent proficiency, compared with 26.2 percent last year. For Native Americas 32.7 percent were proficient, up from 29.9 percent the previous year.

Gains were not as significant for Native Americans and blacks in terms of math. Across the state, Native Americans made 1.8 percent in gains from 29.5 percent proficiency last year to 31.3 percent in gains this year. Blacks had a 1.4 percent jump in test scores, from 23 percent last year to 24.4 percent this year, according to the state’s DOE data.

Hispanics and white students made small gains citywide in math. White students improved in test scores by 1.2 percent, from 57.8 percent last year to 59 percent this year. Hispanic students improved by 1 percent in math, from 24.3 percent to 25.3 percent, according to the data.

Statewide, charter school students improved by 4.7 percent in ELA exams, from 40.3 percent last year to 45 percent who were proficient this year. In math exams, charters school students improved by 2.8 percent, from 45.4 percent in 2016 to 48.2 percent in 2017. In NYC, charters improved scores by 5.2 percent in ELA exams, from 43 percent to 48.2 percent. In terms of math, city charter schools improved by 3 percent over last year, from 48.7 percent to 51.7 percent in 2017.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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