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.
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!!!
National Assessment of Educational Progress