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New Rochelle Math and ELA Test Scores Collapse as State Revamps Tests, Raises Cut Scores

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New Rochelle Math and ELA Test Scores Collapse as State Revamps Tests, Raises Cut Scores

August 09, 2010 - 23:03
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NYS v. NAEP 2005-2009-455x.png

The lie that parents, taxpayers and the community at large will be told as students come back to school in the fall is that the State tests are "new", "unfair", "not representative", "purposely designed to confuse", and otherwise dismissed or discounted. Don't believe it. Instead, the NYSED has finally created a test and scored it based on standards that approach national standards as indicated by the National Assessment of National Progress (NAEP), a national test which randomly tests students at all levels on a variety of metrics from every state.

The truth is in the chart above (provided by NYSED).

In an effort to convince the public that students are learning in our public schools, the State Officer of Assessment has worked very hard to make very easy tests. The result, a sharp deviation from the national norm indicated in the chart above; otherwise known as grade inflation.

Since this site first launched we have been doing our best to warn parents that test scores in New Rochelle are a fraud perpetrated on the children of our community -- instilling a false confidence in children unequipped for high school and not being prepared for college. Bit by bit the facade of New Rochelle as a district where every child is above average has been chipped away. Newsweek dropped New Rochelle from its rankings after having been included every year since they began ranking high schools in 1997. The NYSED released graduation rate data in March 2010 which showed massive declines, an especially for minority students where just 55% of black/African-American students now graduate on time and even less, 51%, of Latinos graduate on time. And last week came the news that performance of New Rochelle students in Grades 3-8 on a revamped, more rigorous ELA and Math tests for students nosedived to depths not ever before seen in New Rochelle.

A few of the worst cases for readers to consider:

Students failing the Grade 4 ELA at Davis School jumped from 5 to 24 or a 480% increase.

ALMS Grade 8 Math at ALMS went from 11 to 38 or a 346% increase.

At Jefferson School where no child failed Grade 3 Math last year, this year that number went to 43 with more than half the students failing the test. A similar result at Columbus in Grade 3 Math where 28 students failed after none the previous year. At Webster in Grade 3 Math where only 1 student failed last year; this year that number stands at 35 (1,900% increase).

Overall, in 2009 9,142 exams were given (Math and ELA, Grades 3-8) and just 1,169 tests came back with a failing grade. In 2010, 9,308 exams were given and 3,497 were scored a 1 or 2.

The number of failed tests for 2010 was 299% higher than 2009.

You can read all about it here.

New York State Education Presentation

A team of Talk of the Sound contributors took the time to get all of the data into a single uniform spreadsheet from which he will then look to run some analysis. As that may take some time, we want to invite readers to review the data presented in a way that is not readily available elsewhere.

New York English, Math test scores 2006-2010 for Trinity Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School, Columbus Elementary School, Ward Elementary School, Davis Elementary School, Isaac E. Young Middle School, Albert Leonard Middle School.

To those helped create this spreadsheet -- thanks for your help!!!

Other resources:

National Assessment of Educational Progress

Grade 4 State Results - Math

Grade 8 State Results - Math

Grade 4 State Results - Reading

Grade 8 State Results - Reading

There are 2 Comments

Did anyone notice that on nred.org it has a link that says 'Statement: NY State Education Grade 3 to 8 Math & ELA Scores' The link doesn't work, though.

What about the social studies tests the 5th graders took in October? We never got the Social Studies scores or the math and ELA scores. I guess they were waiting for the cut offs.

I recommend this Op Ed piece, written by CEOs of a network of charters, from today's NY Post called Scores: A Wake Up Call for NY Schools

It says it was an "Alka-Seltzer morning all across New York".

They say "As painful as it was to have our educational bubble burst, we give the Regents a standing ovation for this bold action. It took real professional and political courage to do what's right for kids."

For them, these low test scores are a call to action.

I like this ending, too: "The truth is, the day we got our lower scores -- as hard as it was -- will likely prove to be one of the best days for us an organization. That kick in the pants has tightened our focus on helping our students get the great education they need and deserve -- and that we promised them.

We're more committed than ever to delivering on that promise. Just as with our scholars, we are in countless ways limited only by the expectations we set for ourselves."

Interesting, I was watching a program last night and caught a report on this on the news. Intrigued, I called my cousin Sally. Sally is a school teacher.

Wouldn't you know, the education department in it's infinite wisdom is eliminating tests in foreign language and social studies. That is just un-American if you ask me.

Sally always says, "what we assess (test) we teach." what will the result be if there is no social studies test in 5th and 8th grade? Less social studies teaching! And why at a time when the world is closing in on itself are they making foreign language less important? Good old Tom said the world is flat and he's right.

As it relates to these recent test scores, the state is wise. Set a bar for the kids to jump over. Train all year at that height. Practice at that height. On game day kids jump over the bar. Yippee!

But wait, five weeks later tell everyone the bar the kids jumped over then was too low and pretend the bar was five feet higher and tell the kids they didn't jump over the bar.

That's what was done. Change the rules of the game and thus the scores after the game has been played. Good job. Someone in Albany has another agenda and its not known yet, but its a gonna come.

Roberta the Postperson

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