By Staff –
The New York State Department of Education has released the 2017 English language arts (ELA) and math test results for students in grades 3-8, which show students’ scores have improved slightly, according to the state.
Statewide, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level on the ELA exam increased by 1.9 percentage points, rising to 39.8 percent, up from 37.9 percent in 2016.
The percentage of students who scored at the proficient level in math also increased this year, rising to 40.2 percent, up from 39.1 in 2016.
“I’m encouraged by the modest improvements we’re seeing in our test scores,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa stated. “As I’ve always said, testing is just one piece of the puzzle to understand how students are performing.”
Each of the Big Five school districts showed similar growth patterns, with each district achieving marginal increases in student performance levels, although each district did show improvement overall.
Syracuse’s student proficiency in ELA increased by 2.2 percentage points, moving the Syracuse City School District’s student proficiency level to 13.1 percent.
Buffalo’s student proficiency level increased by 1.4 percentage points, moving the district to 17.8 percent; Rochester’s student proficiency level increased by 0.9 percent, moving the district to 7.6 percent; and New York City’s student proficiency level increased by 2.6 percent, moving the district to 40.6 percent.
Yonkers saw the biggest increase in its student proficiency level, with students’ ELA proficiency level rising 3.6 percent, moving the district to 29.6 percent.
In math, Syracuse increased its proficiency level by 0.6 percentage points, moving the district to 11 percent. Buffalo increased its proficiency level by 1.1 percentage points, moving the district to 17.2 percent; Rochester increased its proficiency level by 0.7 percentage points, moving the district to 7.9 percent; and New York City increased its proficiency level by 1.4 percent, moving the district to 37.8 percent.
Yonkers increased its student proficiency level by 3.7 percentage points, moving the district to 28.3 percent.
In addition, proficiency levels for black and Hispanic students also improved across the state.
Statewide, black students saw a 2.8-percentage-point increase in those achieving proficiency, while Hispanic students experienced a 2.4-percentage-point increase.
In both cases, the increases were greater than those seen by white students, who experienced a 1.1- percentage-point increase statewide.
“As a result, the achievement gap in ELA that separates the proficiency of black and Hispanic students from their white peers closed slightly,” NYSED said.
Eight percent and 10 percent of the Syracuse City School District’s black and Hispanic students achieved ELA proficiency in 2017, respectively, compared to 6 percent and nine percent in 2016, correspondingly.
However, the number of Hispanic students in the district who reached proficiency in math remained flat, staying at 7 percent, while six percent of black students reached proficiency in 2017, up from five percent the year before.
White students in SCSD achieved 22 percent and 20 percent proficiency in ELA and math, respectively.
The number rose from 20 percent proficiency in ELA the year before, and remained flat, at 20 percent, in math, correspondingly.
According to State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, although the increases may be small, the numbers are moving in the right direction.
“Real progress takes time,” Elia stated. “So, the test scores we’re announcing today are a positive sign that we continue to steadily head in the right direction.”
Visit https://data.nysed.gov/profile.php?instid=800000040902 to view additional data for the Syracuse City School District.