2013 test scores

For the next year, parents are going to be asking me why they should take a chance on schools that have less than 50% of kids performing at grade level.

Consider this: tests that were given before schools had even seen the curriculum (that the tests were based on) and were so poorly designed that many children couldn't possibly finish them are not worth considering.

You can't rely on the scores to determine a quality school. You are going to have to trust your eyes and your gut.

Read these for more reasons to ignore these stats.

What the drop in new standardized test scores really means - Washington Post

Shock Doctrine: five reasons not to trust the results of the new state tests

2013′s test score takeaways, starting with what didn’t change

state test scores by district

While we wait for individual (check your personal aris link in a couple of weeks) and school wide scores to be entered online. We have some district wide scores. As reported they are way down to compensate for what the Board of Regents felt was grade inflation next to NY State's national progress. While the 3rd, 4th and 7th grade 3s and 4s scores are way down, when you separate out the kids scoring at level 4 (above grade level) are almost all up by a bit. Interesting. So perhaps if you have a student who regularly scores high, maybe you can sleep a little easier until your individual scores come out.
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how many g&t kids scored at 99?

Insideschools has the answer.

In 2009 a grand total of 1000 children scored in the 99th percentile on the citywide assessments for kindergarten gifted and talented programs.

The "99s" account for 56% of the 1788 students who qualified for citywide G&T programs by scoring at or above the 97th percentile on the tests...

An unofficial report puts this year's 99th percentile number about 300 above last year's total. The NY Times looks at the equity of the test and debating the approaches to testing, and numbers of children scoring in the 99th percentile by district.

scoring changes for next year

The Board of Regents approve scoring changes to grade 3 to 8 Math and English tests. Essentially, they have decided the tests and scoring are too dumbed down. State scores have been going up while the scores on the NAEP National Assessment of Educational Progress have remained flat.

"Senior Deputy Commissioner John King said, 'The data shows that schools responded to the assignment they were given – they worked hard to help students achieve standards as measured by the state tests that were being given at that time. And more students did, in fact, pass those tests. The problem is that those exams didn’t sufficiently test students’ abilities – the bar was set too low. But we are changing that now. It’s time to end the annual debate about whether our tests have become easier and to put to rest questions about what it means to achieve proficiency in New York.'” - NYSED press release

School, district and state results will be released July 26. I assume that the students will get their results in August as predicted.

"Cut scores classify student proficiency into one of four performance levels based on their test performance; currently, the levels are defined as follows: Level 1, not meeting learning standards; Level 2, partially meeting learning standards; Level 3, meeting learning standards; and Level 4, meeting learning standards with distinction."

State test scores will be out in July

The New York State Board of Regents approved a recommendation to move the release date of scores on the Grades 3 - 8 ELA and Math tests from the origional date, June 24 to the week of July 26, 2010.

"School districts and teachers were notified last spring that the tests would change this year and, in the case of math, address more material.  Students took the exams this year in late April and May, after many more weeks of instruction than in previous years...

The additional time spent in the analysis of the assessments will also allow student performance on this year’s revised assessments to be appropriately incorporated into the state’s 2010-2011 school accountability determinations."

test scores are only a small piece of the puzzle

How do you judge a school? You can look at the test scores. These may come in the form of the School Progress Reports (the DOE's flawed number crunching), the more nuanced but not fool-proof Quality Reviews or the number rankings given by the national websites. The black and white reality of a simple number or letter ranking is that it predicts how well your child will be able to complete a standardized test, not the quality of their education. The tests are scorned by parents whose children already attend school but the scores are often clung to as a measure of quality by prospective parents. Assessments need to be made and there has to some kind of accountability, but the richest learning doesn't happen within test prep and the score can be a smoke screen.
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