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New York City Public School Students Improve on State Standardized Tests!

Dear Commons Community,

New York City Public School Students improved on state reading and math exams in 2016, posting notably better results from last year.

In 2016, 38% of city students in grades three through eight met state reading standards, up from 30.4% in 2015. And 36.4% of city kids passed math tests in 2016, up from 35.2% in 2015.  As reported in The Daily News:

“Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is proud of the gains made by city kids on the tests, which are used in decisions to promote students, evaluate teachers and create policy.

“Our public schools are a cornerstone of New York City,” de Blasio said. “These results represent important progress and outline real improvements across each borough.”

As in previous years, the city trailed behind state passing averages on math exams. But this year, city kids did slightly better than the state average on reading tests.

Statewide, 37.9% of kids met reading standards in 2016 compared to 31.3% in 2015, while 39.1% passed math tests in 2016 compared to 38.1% in 2015.

It’s the first time that the city has outperformed state averages on either category of the tests, since they were pegged to tougher Common Core standards in 2013.

But state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said that significant changes that the tests underwent in 2016 mean that year-to-year comparisons offer limited insight.

After widespread opposition to the difficulty of the tests erupted in 2015, state education department officials shortened the exams for 2016 and eliminated time limits.

Students seem to be doing much better due to shortened exams and no time limit.

Elia admitted that both factors might have contributed to the rise in scores.

“Because of the changes in testing, it’s not exactly a perfect comparison,” Elia said. “And even with the increases this year, there remains much work to be done.”

The city’s black and Hispanic students made gains on state exams in 2016, but the achievement gap faced by those kids persisted as they failed to keep pace with citywide improvements.

Citywide, the portion of black students who met reading standards rose from 19% in 2015 to 26.6% in 2016. Hispanic students jumped in reading from 19.8% to 27.2%.”

Congratulations to Chancellor Carmen Farina, the teachers, and students in New York City public schools.  Good progress!

Tony

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