Press-Republican

Local News

August 8, 2013

Low state test scores reflect expectations

PLATTSBURGH — Nearly 70 percent of the state’s third- through eighth-graders are not proficient in English language arts and math, according to this year’s state test scores.

And the results just released from Clinton, Essex and Franklin county schools about match or exceed that figure.

Although the State Education Department forewarned that this would likely be the case due to newly implemented state standards, it was still difficult for educators like Kathryn Brown to see the results for herself.

“The wind still gets knocked out of you,” said the Chazy Central Rural School teacher.

Commissioner of Education Dr. John King Jr., who discussed the scores during a media conference call Wednesday, said that just 31.1 percent of students in grades three through eight across the state met or exceeded the English-language-arts proficiency standard and 31 percent, the math proficiency standard.

The numbers mark a dramatic drop in scores from last year, when 55.1 percent of students in those grades across the state met or exceeded the English-language-arts (ELA) proficiency standard and 64.8, the math proficiency standard.

LOCAL NUMBERS

In Clinton County schools, 26.25 percent scored high enough to match or better the standard in English language arts, with 22.55 percent passing the math-proficiency tests.

The ELA percentage for students in Essex County schools came in at 30.18 percent, with 22.1 percent meeting or exceeding the math standard.

And in Franklin County, 19.2 percent of pupils who took the tests met or bettered the ELA standard, with 16.06 percent passing in math.

Numbers were not available on Wednesday for individual school districts.

NEW BASELINE

“The first thing we need to realize is that it is not going to be productive to compare these scores to last year’s,” Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Superintendent Scott Osborne said in an interview with the Press-Republican.

“These tests are based upon new curriculum that other states are taking a year to become familiar with. In New York, we were the only state, I believe, to jump into the new assessments immediately.”

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