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3-8 Test Scores in Monticello Align with State Expectations for Decrease

Decrease Anticipated Under First Year of New tests on Common Core

August 7, 2013

student taking a testLast spring, the New York State Education Department predicted a decrease in scores for its assessments in English language arts and math for grades 3-8 in 2012-13. This decrease was anticipated with the launch of new, more rigorous assessments based on the Common Core Learning Standards. In Monticello Central School District, administrators are ready to help parents address any concerns they may have about their children's results.

State assessments for grades 3-8 in ELA and math now evaluate students based on CCLS, a set of educational standards developed by education, business and state leaders from across the nation. In early August, Commissioner of Education Dr. John B. King, Jr., cautioned New York schools that scores on these assessments were “expected to be significantly lower” than the previous year largely as a “result of the shift to assessments that measure the Common Core Learning Standards, which more accurately reflect students’ progress toward college and career readiness.”

Students’ scores on the new assessments fall into one of four levels in relation to the standards:

  • Level 4 excels in CCLS.
  • Level 3 is proficient in CCLS.
  • Level 2 is not proficient in CCLS.
  • Level 1 is well below proficient in CCLS.

While Monticello schools saw the state’s predicted decrease in scores, parents should not try to compare their children’s results from year to year because the current scores reflect new, more challenging assessments and standards.

“These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century," said King. Instead, the 2012-13 results should be seen as setting a “new baseline in student scores." Click here to view a letter to parents [PDF] from the commissioner that more fully explains the outcome of the state tests.

“The results will be surprising for many parents. We knew there would be an adjustment period, just not this big of an adjustment,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky. “How do we tell a parent whose child has an 85 GPA and consistently scored a high three or four for the past few years, that their child is now at a two?"

Parents of students in grades 3-8 last year should soon receive letters about their children’s performance on the state tests. The state Education Department is providing guidance for districts to ensure that students are not negatively impacted by the new proficiency rates and is expected to make adjustments to its guidance on Academic Intervention Services. Any parents with questions about their children’s results are encouraged to contact their children’s school principal or teacher(s) for the 2013-14 school year.

"Regardless of the results, we’re proud of all of our students for striving to do their best on the state assessments last spring," said Telplesky. "Now that we have gotten through the first year, we must all work together – educators, students and parents – to help our children rise to the demands of the Common Core, allowing every student the opportunity to graduate ready for college and/or  careers in the 21st century."

Click here to learn more about the Common Core and grades 3-8 state assessments.