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NY State Education Department Releases Results of Grades 3-8 Math and English Assessments

Monticello Schools poised for the challenges ahead

August 11, 2011

On August 8, the NY State Education Department (NYSED) released the results of those assessments, which were administered in May 2011. MCSD students

The Monticello Central School District assessment results, like many other districts around the state, reinforce the necessity to carefully analyze the data and help schools identify the greatest areas of need. As the district schools continue to align their curricula with the new Common Core Standards, teachers and administrators will have the perfect opportunity to assess and refine every detail of classroom learning.

This collaboration will help us recognize and create the supports necessary for those students who are not scoring at a proficient level. It will also give the district as a whole, the opportunity to challenge the status quo and focus on increasing student achievement and success.

“Our district personnel look forward to working together as a team to increase proficiency at all grade levels,” said Monticello Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky. “By revisiting and revising performance indicators, we will improve instruction and identify any common threads that are causing our students difficulty.”

Under the state’s testing system, student test scores place them at one of four performance levels: students at Level 1 are considered below standard; those at Level 2 meet the basic standard but are still not considered proficient; pupils at Level 3 meet the proficiency standard; and those at Level 4 exceed the proficiency standard.

A “cut” score is the minimum number a student must receive on an assessment to be classified as “proficient.” Last year, NYSED determined that the ELA and math assessments did not accurately measure student achievement so they raised some of the cut scores students must earn in order to be considered proficient in a subject. This factor, in addition to several other changes, including adjustments to the test format – more multiple choice questions, an increased number of the more difficult questions designed to measure Level 4 results, and requiring at least one essay at every grade level - have created a drop in some percentages.

The following are the 2011 cut scores for ELA and math. This is the minimum number a student must score to be considered “proficient” in the tested subject.

Grade 3 – ELA = 663; Math = 684
Grade 4 – ELA = 671; Math = 676
Grade 5 – ELA = 668; Math = 676
Grade 6 – ELA = 662; Math = 674
Grade 7 – ELA = 665; Math = 670
Grade 8 – ELA = 658; Math = 674

In the August 8, 2011 press release, NYSED officials commented about some of the changes noting that they were “significant” in nature and were designed to reflect the department’s “commitment to the continuous development of a more robust testing system.”

The release also noted the following:

• The Department is no longer releasing test questions after they have been administered.
• Students now have to answer more multiple choice questions on both the math and English exams. Doing so enables the Department to test a greater range of performance indicators at varying degrees of difficulty. With a greater number of questions to answer, the length of time each test takes to complete has increased.
• Students at every grade level must now write at least one full essay on the English exams (i.e., essays were added to the exams in grades 3, 5, and 7).