NY State Testing Scores
Robert I. Shaps, the new Superintendent of the Mamaroneck School District, sent out a letter to parents regarding the 2010 State Assessment Results. What
does this letter actually mean?
David M. Steiner, our Education Commissioner, raised the number of questions that students need to get correct in order to reach proficiency on the state’s grade 3-8 math and English Assessment Tests. According to Steiner, the original bar was set too low and did not reflect students’ future success on the Regents Exams or their performance in their first year in college.
The "cut scores" established by the Regents and Commissioner Steiner are intended to signal college readiness standards. The "cut scores" classify students proficiency in one of four performance levels: Level 1- does not meet standards; Level 2 – partially meets standards; Level 3- meets standards; and Level 4 – meets standards with distinctions.
Based on extensive research, Steiner concluded that some students who scored proficient on state exams were unprepared to do the work required in college without remediation.
Since the new proficiency scores are more rigorous this year, fewer students scored at Level 3 & Level 4. In the past, students who scored at Level 1 or Level 2 on the exams were required to receive Academic Intervention Services (AIS) from their schools. Because more students will be scoring at Level 1 & Level 2, specifically for the 2010-2011 school year, the Regents approved amendments that provide greater flexibility to districts in meeting their AIS requirements.
Therefore, students who receive a 2 on their Math or English exam may not receive AIS services this school year.
–Debbie Ausch is owner of the Prodigy Learning Center
The article about the Brockton school is enlightening and offers interesting ideas for improving all schools, not just large schools or schools in poor areas. The performance of our school system is, to be sure, buoyed by the relatively high socioeconomic status of most of our residents. Whether the school system is doing its best to maximize the kids’ potential is a different question entirely. We enjoy a rich offering of extracurricular activities, but lack a sufficient focus on the three R’s. Beginning third graders ought to be able to write simple sentences without numerous spelling errors. They ought to be able to add and subtract two digit numbers and do basic multiplication. And they ought to be learning a foreign language – something which not only fosters a sense of multi-nationalism but also brain development. Yet, when ideas to enhance the academic programs are brought up by concerned parents, they are batted away on logistical grounds. This is tragic, because the kids deserve and can comfortably handle more than they are being taught. Perhaps we need some visionaries of the type Brockton was lucky enough to employ to put our children first not in words but in action. Here’s hoping the new supe is a step in that direction.
[quote][i]I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive. [/i]
– John W. Gardner[/quote]
Let’s hope Mr. Gardner is correct here! And let’s hope we can [u]learn[/u] from Brockton, MA.
Oh, “Brockton public schools spend $7,575 per student.” ([url]http://www.bestplaces.net/City/Brockton-Massachusetts.aspx[/url]).
Any comments MUFSD?
A number of Mamk school parents are puzzled by the fact that our children’s math Regents exam scores are so much lower than their class grades. If the teachers are preparing the students for the Regents exam, why are the students getting much higher grades on “in class” tests given by the teachers than they are on the Regents? Last year my oldest child’s teacher said the she felt the Trig Regents was “unfair” because all of her students did so poorly. She elected not to count it toward ther final grade. Since the kids will be judged by the Regents standard at the end of the year, isn’t the answer upgrading the teaching during the year, as opposed to individual teachers unilaterally “declaring” the test unfair? The kids need to be prepared for college.
PARENT is of course correct. But teachers are not the only ones who seek to discredit state standards when their students fail to meet them. I’ve also heard parents complain that the new higher standards stigmatize children who learn at a different pace. Most people admit that the kids are not learning enough and are ill prepared for college and life in a competitive workplace. Yet, the desire to make all kids feel comfortable leads some teachers and parents to argue for a lowest common denominator type of standard. If we are to have state standards, teachers need to be held accountable for preparing students to meet them. And parents need to recognize that their kid may not be great in every discipline and not stand in the way of standards being raised.