It's the moment many are not waiting for: the results of the New York State Assessment Program (NYSTP) for grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and Mathematics are in.
Though statewide there is a reported incremental improvement in these scores, here in TUFSD things are mixed across the board.
As District Superintendent Dr. Howard Smith has said before about state testing and the ratings that follow, there are many ways you can slice them. If we are comparing ourselves to the overall county figures, we do worse. Compared to our nearest neighbors, Pocantico Hills and Irvington, we do worse. But according to state standards, more than 50 percent of each grade must meet (a cohort given a “Level 3” status) or exceed (“Level 4”) mandated proficiency levels in Math and English – which we do.
Really the most important comparison to make, though, is with ourselves. As a district designated last year "In Need of Improvement,” with Sleepy Hollow Middle School in particular labelled a “School in Need of Improvement” that is exactly what we need to show – improvement – in order not to receive a failing status.
Both Dr. Smith and middle school principal Elizabeth Lopez are on vacation this week, so I will have to report back with more interpretation of these scores and their meaning for our district and middle school status.
Until then, here's a breakdown comparing 2010-2011 percentages of test takers meeting or exceeding proficiency standards with the latest 2011-2012 percentages, by grade and subject:
2010-2011 % meeting or exceeding standard
2011-2012 % meeting or exceeding standard
Up or Down
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
Notable numbers: Grade 7 math last year was below proficiency standards, with only 47.7 percent meeting or exceeding the base level. This year they went way up, with their percentage now at 58.4. Other grades of marked change: Grade 4 Math went up substantially, the only percentage on the list hitting 70%. Grade 6 Math went up nearly 10 percentage points. But unfortunately grade 8 Math went way down.
Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch spoke to the statewide improvement and the work to be done: "There is some positive momentum in these numbers," he said, "But too many of our students, especially students of color, English Language Learners and special education students, are currently not on a course for college and career readiness. That’s why we are continuing to press forward with critical reforms to ensure all of our kids are ready for college and careers. In the fall we will begin to phase in a new, more challenging, content rich curriculum and continue to press for the implementation of a rigorous teacher evaluation system in every district across the state."
At the end of June, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law that will require data from teacher evaluations to be posted to the public. The law limits the amount of data the public receives about teacher evaluations, including the names of teachers. Read more on this and take our poll here.
Reactions to our local test scores? Opposed to the tests in the first place? thoughts on teacher evaulations? Weigh in here.