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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2019
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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State Education Department Releases Spring 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA & Math Assessment Results

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

Additional Resources:

PowerPoint Summary of Results

The State Education Department today released the results of the 2019 Grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and mathematics tests. In ELA, 45.4 percent of all test takers in grades 3-8 scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4) an increase of 0.2 percentage points from 2018. In math, 46.7 percent of all test takers in grades 3-8 scored at the proficient level, up 2.2 percentage points from 44.5 in 2018.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change # of Test Takers
Statewide Combined Grades ELA 45.2 45.4 0.2 987,398
Statewide Combined Grades Math 44.5 46.7 2.2 948,606

"The Board of Regents and I are committed to ensuring that all children, regardless of where they go to school, have access to equitable opportunities and a high-quality education," Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said.  "As our Every Student Succeeds Act plan emphasizes, we need multiple, interlocking strategies to address achievement gaps as well as opportunity gaps. State assessments are one tool that helps us do that."

“During my tenure with the New York State Education Department, I’m proud of the progress we have made in terms of reducing gaps in student achievement,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said.  “As I’ve consistently said, assessments are a part of the larger picture that we look at when we examine performance levels across the state.  This year’s test scores are a positive sign that we are making progress and I believe the deliberative and thoughtful approach outlined in our State’s ESSA plan will continue to benefit the students of New York State.”

2019 Results

The state did not make significant changes to the 2019 assessments; therefore the 2019 results can be compared with the 2018 results. However, due to the change in 2018 to the two-session test design and the performance standard review process, the 2017 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math results cannot be compared with 2018 and 2019 results.

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 2019, New York City exceeded the statewide proficiency rate by 2 percent, with 47.4 of students achieving proficiency, compared with 45.4 percent statewide. In math, 45.6 percent of New York City students scored at the proficient level, compared with 46.7 percent statewide.

% of Students Proficient in ELA Across All Grades 3-8
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
NYC 46.7 47.4 0.7
Buffalo 23.4 24.7 1.3
Rochester 11.4 13.2 1.8
Syracuse 15.4 17.7 2.3
Yonkers 26.7 31.5 4.8

 

% of Students Proficient in Math Across All Grades 3-8
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
NYC 42.7 45.6 2.9
Buffalo 21.0 20.9 -0.1
Rochester 10.7 13.0 2.3
Syracuse 13.5 14.7 1.2
Yonkers 29.4 34.6 5.2

Race and Ethnicity

In 2019, the achievement gap among black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaskan Native students’ proficiency continued to narrow slightly when compared with their white peers; however, significant gaps remain.

In ELA, the gap between black students and their white peers narrowed by 1.4 percentage points from 2018 to 2019; the gap between Hispanic and white students and American Indian/Alaskan Native and white students each narrowed by 1.2 percentage points in that same time.

In math, the gap between black students and their white peers and Hispanic and white students each narrowed by 1.5 percentage points from 2018 to 2019; the gap between American Indian/Alaskan Native and white students narrowed by 2.4 percentage points in that same time.

% of Students Proficient & Achievement Gap - ELA
  2018 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers 2019 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers Change in Gap 2018 to 2019
Black ELA 34.5 17.3 35.3 15.9 -1.4
Hispanic ELA 35.1 16.7 35.7 15.5 -1.2
American Indian/ Alaskan Native ELA 38.5 13.3 39.1 12.1 -1.2
White ELA 51.8 N/A 51.2 N/A N/A
Asian/ Pacific Islander ELA 66.7 N/A 67.1 N/A N/A

 

% of Students Proficient & Achievement Gap - Math
  2018 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers 2019 Proficiency Achievement Gap to White Peers Change in Gap 2018 to 2019
Black Math 29.3 24.9 32.1 23.4 -1.5
Hispanic Math 31.8 22.4 34.6 20.9 -1.5
American Indian/ Alaskan Native Math 36.3 17.9 40 15.5 -2.4
White Math 54.2 N/A 55.5 N/A N/A
Asian/ Pacific Islander Math 71.2 N/A 73.4 N/A N/A

Since 2015, the achievement gap in ELA between Black and white students narrowed by 6 percentage points, the gap between Hispanic and white students decreased by 5.2 percentage points and the gap between American Indian and Alaskan Native students narrowed by 4.5 percentage points. Over the same five-year period in math, the gap between Black and white students narrowed by 5 percentage points, the gap between Hispanic and white students decreased by 4.2 percentage points and the gap between American Indian and Alaskan Native students narrowed by 3.5 percentage points.

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; placing emphasis on importance of early learning; expanding opportunities for parent and family engagement; and a focus on educating the whole child through social emotional learning, culturally responsive-sustaining education and school climate initiatives.

ELA Proficiency & Achievement Gap 2015-2019
  Black/White Hispanic/White American Indian - Alaskan Native/White
2015 21.9 20.7 16.6
2016 19.8 19.1 16.1
2017 18.1 17.8 14.3
2018 17.3 16.7 13.3
2019 15.9 15.5 12.1
Percentage Point Change 2015 to 2019 -6.0 -5.2 -4.5

 

Math Proficiency & Achievement Gap 2015-2019
  Black/White Hispanic/White American Indian - Alaskan Native/White
2015 28.4 25.1 19.0
2016 27.0 24.3 20.5
2017 26.0 23.4 19.1
2018 24.9 22.4 17.9
2019 23.4 20.9 15.5
Percentage Point Change 2015 to 2019 -5.0 -4.2 -3.5

English Language Learners

In 2019, “Ever ELLs” (that is, students who were identified as English Language Learners (ELLs) and received ELL services prior to, but not during, the 2018-19 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 55.0 percent, compared with 45.4 percent statewide.  

“Current ELLs” (that is, students who were identified as ELLs and received ELL services during the 2018-19 school year) continue to lag behind the total public school population, with current ELLs achieving proficiency on the ELA exam at a rate of 8.7 percent, compared with 45.4 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 57.8 percent, compared with 46.7 percent for the total test-taking population. Current ELLs achieved proficiency at a rate of 17.0 percent.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 - ELA
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
Current ELLs ELA 9.2 8.7 -0.5
Ever ELLs ELA 54.7 55.0 0.3
Never ELLs ELA 48.0 48.0 0.0

 

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 - Math
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
Current ELLs Math 16.1 17.0 0.9
Ever ELLs Math 54.1 57.8 3.7
Never ELLs Math 47.0 49.1 2.1

Students with Disabilities

Across the state in 2019, 13.9 percent of students with disabilities scored at the proficient level in ELA and 16.2 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.

The Department has placed a renewed focus on districts that have not met Individuals with Disabilities Act requirements for eight or more consecutive years. There are 12 such districts in the State, including NYC. For each district, an improvement and monitoring plan will be developed to ensure students with disabilities and their parents have the supports necessary to help diminish the achievement gap. This includes districts providing supports and intervention services to address individual student needs and full access to programs to help these students to graduate.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
Students with Disabilities ELA 13.8 13.9 0.1
Students with Disabilities Math 14.6 16.2 1.6

Charter Schools

In 2019, 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 total public school rate of 45.4 percent. In math, the statewide charter school proficiency rate was 58.9 percent, compared with a total statewide public school rate of 46.7 percent.

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 percent; in math, it was 63.2 percent.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 - ELA
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
Charter Schools Combined Grades ELA 54.0 54.0 0.0
NYC Charter Combined Grades ELA 57.3 57.3 0.0
Rest of State Charters Combined Grades ELA 39.1 39.1 0.0

 

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 - Math
  2018 2019 Percentage Point Change
Charter Schools Combined Grades Math 55.8 58.9 3.1
NYC Charter Combined Grades Math 59.6 63.2 3.6
Rest of State Charters Combined Grades Math 38.4 39.7 1.3

Computer-Based Testing

This year is the third year the State offered operational assessments on the computer, with more than 194,800 students participating at approximately 1,100 schools statewide. Some students encountered technical difficulties on the ELA test. The Department paused computer-based testing (CBT), addressed the issues and held Questar accountable, requiring the company to implement corrective actions and to get an independent analysis from ETS and Microsoft to ensure the issues could be resolved. Math CBT went more smoothly and no student or school was penalized for participating in CBT.

The Department remains committed to a transition to CBT and it will maintain CBT next year. However, the Department will put in place measures to help ensure testing goes smoothly. CBT will be maintained in the districts and schools that have already started implementation. In addition, the number of students taking tests will be balanced throughout the testing window.

Test Refusals

In 2019, the statewide test refusal rate was approximately 16 percent, a decline of two percentage points from last year’s refusal rate of approximately 18 percent, and a decline of three percentage points from 2017’s refusal rate of approximately 19 percent.

% of Students Statewide Who Refused to Test
2017 Test Refusal 2018 Test Refusal 2019 Test Refusal
19% 18% 16%

A test refusal file by school district is available on NYSED’s Information and Reporting Services 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. Eighth grade saw the highest percentage of test refusals while third grade had the lowest. 

As in prior years, the proficiency rates in 2019 represent the more than 1.09 million 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 public data website.