Understanding the New York State Testing Program

Each year, students in grades 3-8 take a variety of state assessments that are designed to measure whether they are meeting the NY State Learning Standards. The following is designed to give you insight into what is involved in state testing and how to interpret the test results.

Grades 3-8 – English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics
Grades 4, 8 – Science Performance and Written

In order to earn the Foreign Language credit required for high school graduation, students must pass the local proficiency exam administered to eighth-graders in June. In addition to the above tests, Grade 2 students take the Terra Nova (ELA/Math) standardized assessment and students in Grades 9-12 may take Regents exams in Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, Global History, U.S. History, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry.

Why do students take tests based on the state standards?
Students take these tests so the state can assess how well students and schools in general are progressing in the various subject areas. The content of the tests is determined by the NY State Learning Standards and Common Core Curricula in association with the NY State Education Department (NYSED).

How is the data from the test results used by the schools and teachers?
Teachers and school administrators use group data to plan instructional programs and individual student data to learn more about each student’s skills.

How is the data used by the state?
Schools are accountable for student performance as mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The data is used to measure whether students are learning the required content.

Who will see my child’s score?
Teachers and administrators in the district will see the test scores but, as with all educational records, they are otherwise confidential. Schools send parents detailed reports on English language arts and mathematics test results once they are available from the state.

Why do I need to know my child’s test scores?
By seeing your child’s test scores, you can gauge how well he or she is developing certain skills in comparison to other students around the state. You can use this knowledge when talking with your child’s teachers about academic concerns. Scores can also make you aware of your child’s strengths.

Don’t Stress About the Test
Many students (and parents) get stressed-out by the pressure of high-stakes testing. Parent Today offers a number of resources to help families naviate New York State Assessments and more.

Parent Today, a free e-newsletter and website, provides information and resources for engagement in the educational process to Monticello School District residents.

Engage NY created a video for parents about the new assessments, which are based on the Common Core State Standards.