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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2017
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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State Education Department Releases Spring 2017 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Assessment Results

Students Demonstrate Proficiency Increases

State Will Continue to Make Assessments an Element of Efforts to Foster Educational Equity

Additional Resources:

Summary of Results

Video of Commissioner Elia Discussing Results

Video of Commissioner Elia Question & Answer

Audio of Commissioner Elia Question & Answer

The State Education Department today released the results of the 2017 Grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and mathematics tests. In ELA this year, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4) increased by 1.9 percentage points to 39.8, up from 37.9 in 2016. In math, the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level increased this year to 40.2, up 1.1 percentage point from 39.1 in 2016.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Statewide Combined Grades ELA

37.9

39.8

1.9

Statewide Combined Grades Math

39.1

40.2

1.1

 

“I’m encouraged by the modest improvements we’re seeing in our test scores,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “As I’ve always said, testing is just one piece of the puzzle to understand how students are performing. And that’s why our draft ESSA plan takes a more holistic approach to accountability – an approach that looks at multiple measures of school and student success. This allows us to continually evolve and adapt so we can ensure that our systems are culturally responsive and place an emphasis on educating the whole child.”

“Real progress takes time,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “So, the test scores we’re announcing today are a positive sign that we continue to steadily head in the right direction. We’ve taken a deliberate, inclusive and transparent approach to develop the State’s draft ESSA plan as well as changes to our standards and assessments. We’re confident that this careful approach will continue to yield benefits for our students.”  

2017 Results

The State did not make significant changes to the ELA or math assessments administered in 2017. Therefore, the 2017 results can be compared with the 2016 results.

Big 5 City School Districts

In ELA this year, the percentage of all test takers in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level increased over last year in each of the Big 5 City School Districts. New York City’s proficiency increased by 2.6 percentage points to 40.6 percent, slightly exceeding the statewide average.  

In the other Big 5 cities, student proficiency increased over last year as follows: Buffalo increased by 1.4 percentage points; Rochester increased by 0.9 percentage point; Syracuse increased by 2.2 percentage points; and Yonkers increased by 3.6 percentage points.

% of Students Proficient in ELA Across All Grades, 3-8

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC

38.0

40.6

2.6

Buffalo

16.4

17.8

1.4

Rochester

6.7

7.6

0.9

Syracuse

10.9

13.1

2.2

Yonkers

26.0

29.6

3.6

 

In math, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level increased over last year in each of the Big 5 City School Districts; the gains in math were smaller than those in ELA. New York City’s proficiency increased by 1.4 percentage points; Buffalo increased by 1.1 percentage points; Rochester increased by 0.7 percentage point; Syracuse increased by 0.6 percentage point; and Yonkers increased by 3.7 percentage points.

% of Students Proficient in Math Across All Grades 3-8

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC

36.4

37.8

1.4

Buffalo

16.1

17.2

1.1

Rochester

7.2

7.9

0.7

Syracuse

10.4

11.0

0.6

Yonkers

24.6

28.3

3.7

 

Black and Hispanic Students

In 2017, ELA proficiency across all grades for black and Hispanic students increased over last year, with increases seen both statewide and in New York City. 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 statewide.

In New York City, black students scoring at the ELA proficiency level increased 2.3 percentage points; Hispanic students increased 2.5 percentage points; and white students increased 2.1 percentage points.

Statewide % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 ELA

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Asian/Pacific Islander ELA

59.0

60.8

1.8

Black ELA

26.2

29.0

2.8

Hispanic ELA

26.8

29.2

2.4

American Indian/ Alaska Native ELA

29.9

32.7

2.8

White ELA

46.0

47.1

1.1

 

NYC % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 ELA

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC Asian/Pacific Islander ELA

58.8

61.0

2.2

NYC Black ELA

26.6

28.9

2.3

NYC Hispanic ELA

27.2

29.7

2.5

NYC American Indian/ Alaska Native ELA

34.9

37.4

2.5

NYC White ELA

58.9

61.0

2.1

 

Proficiency on the math exam statewide and in New York City also increased for black and Hispanic students this year; the gains, however, were less than in ELA.

Statewide % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 Math

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Asian/Pacific Islander Math

66.5

67.2

0.7

Black Math

23.0

24.4

1.4

Hispanic Math

25.7

27.0

1.3

American Indian/ Alaska Native Math

29.5

31.3

1.8

White Math

50.0

50.4

0.4

 

NYC % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 Math

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC Asian/Pacific Islander Math

67.2

67.8

0.6

NYC Black Math

20.0

20.7

0.7

NYC Hispanic Math

24.3

25.3

1.0

NYC American Indian/ Alaska Native Math

32.2

33.1

0.9

NYC White Math

57.8

59.0

1.2

 

English Language Learners

Statewide in ELA, proficiency increased for both “Ever ELLs” (students who received ELL services prior to, but not during, the 2016-17 school year) and “Current ELLs” (students who received ELL services in the 2016-17 school year). Ever ELL students performing at the proficiency level significantly increased by 5.5 percentage points this year and outperformed all grade 3-8 test-takers combined, statewide. Performance by Current ELL students improved by 1.2 percentage points.

In math, Ever ELL students scoring at the proficiency level increased by 3.2 percentage points, while Current ELL students experienced a 1.7 percentage-point increase.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Current ELLs ELA

4.0

5.2

1.2

Ever ELLs ELA

39.7

45.2

5.5

Never ELLs ELA

40.8

42.6

1.8

 

   

 

Current ELLs Math

11.5

13.2

1.7

Ever ELLs Math

43.6

46.8

3.2

Never ELLs Math

41.7

42.7

1.0

 

Students with Disabilities

Across the state, the percentage of students with disabilities who scored at the proficient level increased in both ELA and math. While a greater percentage of students with disabilities reached proficiency in 2017, their performance on the state assessments continues to be significantly lower than the performance of general education students. 

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Students with Disabilities ELA

7.9

9.3

1.4

Students with Disabilities Math

10.9

11.4

0.5

 

Charter Schools

The percentage of charter school students who scored at the proficient level on the ELA exam across grades 3-8 increased this year. Similar to last year, that increase was greater for students attending charter schools in New York City. Statewide, the proficiency of students in charter schools increased by 4.7 percentage points on the ELA exam; in New York City, proficiency increased by 5.2 percentage points. Charter schools outside of New York City increased by 2.0 percentage points, which is slightly higher gain than total public schools. However, the proficiency for students at rest of state charters remains below the statewide public school proficiency.

In math, student proficiency increased, but not as much as in ELA. Statewide, students in charter schools scoring at the proficient level increased by 2.8 percentage points on the math exam; in New York City, proficiency increased by 3.0 percentage points; and for rest of state charters, proficiency increased 1.5 percentage points. However, the proficiency for students at rest of state charters remains below the statewide public school proficiency.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Charter Schools Combined Grades ELA

40.3

45.0

4.7

NYC Charter Combined Grades ELA

43.0

48.2

5.2

Rest of State Charters Combined Grades ELA

28.8

30.8

2.0

Charter Schools Combined Grades Math

45.4

48.2

2.8

NYC Charter Combined Grades Math

48.7

51.7

3.0

Rest of State Charters Combined Grades Math

30.9

32.4

1.5

 

Test Refusals

In 2017, the statewide test refusal rate was approximately 19 percent, a decline of two percentage points from last year’s refusal rate of approximately 21 percent.

A test refusal file by school district is available at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/pressRelease/20170822/home.html

Prior to 2016, SED tracked only the number of students not tested for an invalid or unknown reason. These students were categorized as “not tested.” The not tested count included students who were absent during the test administration period as well as students who refused the test; the count did not include students who were medically excused.

 

% of Students Statewide Not Tested & Test Refusal

2015 Not Tested

2016 Test Refusal

2017 Test Refusal

20%

21%

19%

 

In 2017, students who refused the test were much more likely to be from low-need or average-need districts; much more likely to be white; less likely to be economically disadvantaged; and much less likely to be an English Language Learner.

Similar to last year, this year’s proficiency rates represent the more than 900,000 students who took the ELA and math tests. There is no statewide measure of knowledge and skill for those students who refused the test.

School and District Results

A summary of the test results, as well as individual school and district results, is available at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/pressRelease/20170822/home.html

Video and Audio Available

Video and audio of Commissioner Elia are available for download.

Video: http://www.nysed.gov/video/2017-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-assessment-results

Question & Answer Video: http://www.nysed.gov/video/2017-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-assessment-results-questions-and-answers

Question & Answer Audio: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/2017-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-assessment-results-questions-and-answers.mp3

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