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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 26, 2018
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

State Education Department Releases Spring 2018 Grades 3-8 Ela & Math Assessment Results

Scores Provide Important New Baseline Data on Student Proficiency 

Regents’ Equity Initiatives Aimed at Closing Persistent Gaps in Student Achievement

Additional Resources:

PowerPoint Summary of Results

Video of Commissioner Elia Summarizing Results

Video of Commissioner Elia Question & Answer

Audio of Commissioner Elia Question & Answer

The State Education Department today released the results of the 2018 Grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and mathematics tests. In ELA, 45.2 percent of all test takers in grades 3-8 scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4). In math, 44.5 percent of all test takers in grades 3-8 scored at the proficient level. Due to the State’s new two-session test design and performance standards, the 2018 Grades 3-8 ELA and math results cannot be compared with prior-year results. The new baseline established this year will enable comparisons with student scores in 2019 and 2020.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

  2017 2018 # of Test Takers
Statewide Combined Grades ELA 39.8 45.2 966,661
Statewide Combined Grades Math 40.2 44.5 931,449

“The Regents and I remain focused on educational equity for all children,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “That’s why we’re providing students with multiple ways to demonstrate their success in meeting the state’s proficiency standards. And it’s why we’re providing our highly qualified teachers with professional learning opportunities. With this support, New York’s students will benefit from our Next Generation Learning Standards and revised assessments in ways that will improve teaching and learning throughout the state.”

“To close the gaps in student achievement, we need information that identifies where those gaps exist,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “The State assessments help establish a foundation to identify the grades, schools, and groups of students that need more support. However, it’s important to remember that while test scores provide us with needed information, they’re only one measure of performance, and we must always look at the whole picture. Our state ESSA plan does that by expanding the measures of student and school performance.”

2018 Results

It is important to again note that due to the State’s new two-session test design and performance standards, the 2018 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math results cannot be compared with prior-year results.

The standards review process brought together panels of New York educators from across the State who are certified in each area to establish the performance standards for their grade level. These educators followed a standardized, research-based process to discuss expectations for students in each performance level. They reviewed the actual test questions and made recommendations on the knowledge and skills required of students at each grade level. Once the standards were established, they were applied to individual student tests to make proficiency level determinations.

Big 5 City School Districts

Of the Big 5 city school districts, New York City continues to have the highest percentage of students proficient in both ELA and math, with Yonkers having the second highest in each. In ELA in 2018, New York City exceeded the statewide proficiency rate by 1.5 percent, with 46.7 of students achieving proficiency, compared with 45.2 percent statewide. In math, 42.7 percent of New York City students scored at the proficient level, compared with 44.5 percent statewide.

% of Students Proficient in ELA in Grades 3-8 - Big 5 City School Districts

  2017 2018

NYC

40.6

46.7

Buffalo

17.8

23.4

Rochester

7.6

11.4

Syracuse

13.1

15.4

Yonkers

29.6

26.7

% of Students Proficient in Math in Grades 3-8 - Big 5 City School Districts

  2017 2018

NYC

37.8

42.7

Buffalo

17.2

21.0

Rochester

7.9

10.7

Syracuse

11.0

13.5

Yonkers

28.3

29.4

 

Race and Ethnicity

In 2018, the achievement gap between black and Hispanic students’ proficiency narrowed slightly when compared with their white peers. The gap also narrowed slightly for American Indian/ Alaska Native students and their white peers; however, significant gaps persist.

In ELA, the gap between black students and their white peers narrowed by 0.8 percentage points from 2017 to 2018; the gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed by 1.2 percentage points; and the gap between American Indian/ Alaska Native and white students narrowed by 1.1 percentage points in that same time.

In math, the gap between black students and their white peers narrowed by 1.1 percentage points from 2017 to 2018; the gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed by 1.0 percentage points; and the gap between American Indian/ Alaska Native and white students narrowed by 1.2 percentage points. Asian/ Pacific Islander students continued to perform the highest in proficiency among race and ethnicity groups.

The Board of Regents and the Department continue to focus on gap-closing initiatives, including the expansion of prevention, early warning, and intervention programs through My Brother’s Keeper, implementation of the State’s ESSA plan, and a focus on educating the whole child through social emotional learning, culturally responsive-sustaining education and school climate initiatives.

% of Students Proficient & Achievement Gap in Grades 3-8 - ELA

  2018 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers 2017 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers Change in Gap
2017 to 2018

Black ELA

34.5

17.3

29

18.1

-0.8

Hispanic ELA

35.1

16.7

29.2

17.9

-1.2

American Indian/  Alaskan Native ELA 38.5 13.3 32.7 14.4 -1.1

White ELA

51.8

 

47.1

   
Asian/ Pacific Islander ELA 66.7   60.8    

% of Students Proficient & Achievement Gap in Grades 3-8 - Math

  2018 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers 2017 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers Change in Gap
2017 to 2018

Black Math

29.3

24.9

24.4

26

-1.1

Hispanic Math

31.8

22.4

27

23.4

-1.0

American Indian/  Alaskan Native Math 36.3 17.9 31.3 19.1 -1.2

White Math

54.2

 

50.4

   
Asian/ Pacific Islander Math 71.2   67.2    

 

English Language Learners

In 2018, “Ever ELLs” (that is, students who were identified as English Language Learners (ELLs) and received ELL services prior to, but not during, the 2017-18 school year) achieved proficiency on the ELA exam at higher levels than the total test-taking population, with Ever ELLs achieving proficiency at a rate of 54.7 percent, compared with 45.2 percent statewide.  

“Current ELLs” (that is, students who were identified as ELLs and received ELL services during the 2017-18 school year) continue to lag behind the total public school population, with current ELLs achieving proficiency on the ELA exam at a rate of 9.2 percent, compared with 45.2 percent statewide. Current ELL students are still working to master the English language and receive additional supports from their schools to improve their English language skills. 

In math, Ever ELLs achieved proficiency at higher levels than the total test-taking population, with Ever ELLs achieving proficiency at a rate of 54.1 percent, compared with 44.5 percent for the total test-taking population. Current ELLs achieved proficiency at a rate of 16.1 percent. 

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 ELA - English Language Learners

  2017 2018

Current ELLs ELA

5.2

9.2

Ever ELLs ELA

45.2

54.7

Never ELLs ELA

42.6

48.0

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 Math - English Language Learners

  2017 2018

Current ELLs Math

13.2

16.1

Ever ELLs Math

46.8

54.1

Never ELLs Math

42.7

47.0

 

Students with Disabilities

Across the state in 2018, 13.8 percent of students with disabilities scored at the proficient level in ELA and 14.6 scored proficient in math. Performance of students with disabilities on the state assessments continues to be significantly lower than the performance of general education students. To help address this persistent gap in achievement, school districts provide support and intervention services tailored to individual students’ needs and full access to programs to help them achieve the standards and graduate high school.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 - Students with Disabilities

  2017 2018

Students with Disabilities ELA

9.3

13.8

Students with Disabilities Math

11.4

14.6

 

Charter Schools

Charter school students now represent just under seven percent of all public school students statewide. In 2018, statewide charter school proficiency rates were higher than total public school proficiency rates in both ELA and math. In ELA, the statewide charter school proficiency rate was 54.0 percent, compared with a total statewide public school rate of 45.2 percent. In math, the statewide charter school proficiency rate was 55.8 percent, compared with a total statewide public school rate of 44.5 percent.

In 2018, students attending New York City charter schools had higher rates of proficiency on the State assessments than students attending charter schools throughout the rest of the State. In ELA, the New York City charter school proficiency rate was 57.3; in math, it was 59.6 percent.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 ELA - Charter Schools

  2017 2018

Charter Schools Combined Grades ELA

45.0

54.0

NYC Charter Combined Grades ELA

48.2

57.3

Rest of State Charters Combined Grades ELA

30.8

39.1

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 Math - Charter Schools

  2017 2018

Charter Schools Combined Grades Math

48.2

55.8

NYC Charter Combined Grades Math

51.7

59.6

Rest of State Charters Combined Grades Math

32.4

38.4

 

Computer-Based Testing

This year is the second year the State offered operational assessments on the computer, with more than 145,000 students participating at more than 10 percent of schools statewide. The Department addressed the technical difficulties experienced by some students who took the ELA exam on computers; as a result, computer-based mathematics testing went more smoothly. The Department remains committed to a transition to computer-based testing (CBT).  

Test Refusals

In 2018, the statewide test refusal rate was approximately 18 percent, a decline of one percentage point from last year’s refusal rate of approximately 19 percent, and a decline of three percentage points from 2016’s refusal rate of approximately 21 percent.

% of Students Statewide Who Refused to Test

2016 Test Refusal 2017 Test Refusal 2018 Test Refusal
21% 19% 18%
 

A test refusal file by school district is available on NYSED’s website.

Statewide, the vast majority of students who refused the tests were from average or low-need school districts. Long Island remains the geographic area with the highest percentage of test refusals in both mathematics and ELA. Charter schools and schools in the Big 5 city school districts had the lowest refusal rates in the State.  

As in prior years, the proficiency rates in 2018 represent the more than 950,000 students who took the State assessments. 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 on NYSED’s website.

Video and Audio Available

Video and audio of Commissioner Elia are available for download.

Video of Commissioner Elia Summarizing Results

Video of Commissioner Elia Question & Answer

Audio of Commissioner Elia Question & Answer