News and Speeches

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña Announce Gains for NYC Students on State Tests

08/14/2014

Improved ELA and Math Scores on Statewide Exams Aligned to the Rigorous Common Core Learning Standards

City committed to raising achievement through more after-school academic enrichment, Pre-K for All, Community Schools and more professional development in latest teachers’ contract

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced gains for New York City’s students in the second year of the Common Core-aligned math and English exams. A larger percentage of students scored proficient in both math and English in 2014 compared to 2013, reflecting progress in the City’s continued shift to Common Core-oriented instruction. To raise achievement—not just in testing but across multiple performance measures—the Administration is investing in after-school academic enrichment, pre-K for every child, more community schools and more professional development in latest teachers’ contract which will help ensure educators master the new standards and can effectively teach students to meet them.

Last school year, New York State revised its exams to better align with the rigorous Common Core standards, with results indicating that many students were not yet on track for college and career readiness. In 2014, 34.2 percent of students met proficiency standards in math, up from 29.6 percent last year, while 28.4 percent of students met the standards in English, up from 26.4 percent last year. Additionally, the number of students scoring at level 1 (the lowest level of proficiency) across New York City has also decreased.

New York City students improved across all ethnic groups, with more students meeting the State’s bar for proficiency in both math and English. English Language Learners and special education students also showed gains.

“Students, parents, principals and teachers across this city are working hard to reach the tough new standards set for them. Every parent knows their child’s education is about more than any one test. What these latest results show us is that we’re making progress and we have a lot of work ahead of us. That’s why we are making foundational changes to lift up students in every school, from more after-school academic enrichment for middle schoolers, to more professional development for our teachers, to helping kids enter school at grade level through Pre-K for All. We’ll be collaborating with school communities across the city to help them excel,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I am pleased with the improved performance of our elementary and middle schoolers on the State ELA and math tests,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “The improved scores we see today are a reflection of the progress we’ve made in aligning our instruction with the rigorous standards. Our work, and our progress, is only the beginning. The Department has redoubled its efforts, and with this much stronger focus on professional development and instructional practice, student outcomes will continue to improve, leading to greater college and career readiness as we move forward.

Overall Results by Grade:

ELA

Math

Grade

2014 # Tested

% 2013 L3+4

% 2014 L3+4

Pt. Diff

% Diff

Grade

2014 # Tested

% 2013 L3+4

% 2014 L3+4

Pt. Diff

% Diff

3

71,389

28.1

29.9

1.8

6.5

3

72,708

33.1

38.6

5.5

16.6

4

69,644

27.2

31.1

3.9

14.4

4

70,821

35.2

40.0

4.7

13.4

5

67,614

28.7

28.4

-0.3

-0.9

5

68,733

29.6

38.7

9.2

31.0

6

66,061

23.3

25.3

2.0

8.4

6

67,256

28.8

33.8

5.0

17.2

7

67,104

25.5

26.8

1.3

5.0

7

68,091

25.0

29.6

4.6

18.5

8

69,447

25.4

28.9

3.4

13.5

8

59,875

25.7

22.8

-3.0

-11.6

All

411,259

26.4

28.4

2.1

7.8

All

407,484

29.6

34.2

4.6

15.6

NOTE: A change in State testing policy drove a decrease in eighth grade proficiency rates in 2014. To reduce double testing, most students in accelerated math who took the Integrated Algebra Regents exam were exempted from taking the 7th or 8th grade State math assessment.

Overall Results by Demographic Group:

ELA

Math

Ethnicity

2014 # Tested

% 2013 L3+4

% 2014 L3+4

Pt. Diff

% Diff

Ethnicity

2014 # Tested

% 2013 L3+4

% 2014 L3+4

Pt. Diff

% Diff

Asian

65,921

48.1

49.5

1.4

3.0

Asian

64,465

61.4

66.6

5.2

8.5

Black

106,340

16.3

18.1

1.8

10.8

Black

104,671

15.3

18.6

3.3

21.5

Hispanic

167,159

16.6

18.3

1.7

10.0

Hispanic

168,396

18.6

23.1

4.6

24.7

White

64,986

46.8

49.4

2.5

5.4

White

63,299

50.1

55.8

5.7

11.5

ELL

49,489

3.4

3.6

0.2

6.7

ELL

56,617

11.4

14.0

2.6

23.3

SWD

85,978

5.7

6.7

1.0

17.3

SWD

85,628

8.4

11.4

3.0

35.2

Under the Common Core standards, students are required to think critically, read more difficult passages and books, and spend more time writing. In English, students must think through all sides of an argument and support claims with evidence. In math, students are asked to apply their skills in more real-world scenarios that will draw stronger connections to future courses and jobs. This year’s gains affirm the efforts of New York City teachers to integrate the Common Core standards into their instruction, as well as the Department of Education’s efforts to guide and support principals and teachers.

“I congratulate New York City’s students on their accomplishment,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. “While testing is only part of a student’s educational experience, it is clear that our students and their families worked hard this past year and I applaud them for that.  I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Fariña and all of those who work so hard to educate our children.”

“These gains represent academic progress for students across New York City," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Improved scores indicate not only better test performance, but also strides in the classroom in fundamental areas of educational development. The progress we're seeing today is just the beginning. Alongside expanded pre-K and after school programs, these gains will help give our children the resources and tools they need to get the most out of their education.”

“We are headed in the right direction,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Decreasing the number of students who scored a one on the standardized tests is significant.  While more work remains to be done, the new emphasis on a holistic approach to the overall education of our students, I believe, will help keep us moving forward.”

The City is deepening that approach through a range of initiatives. The Department of Education has hosted professional development sessions for more than 900 principals and targeted sessions for thousands of teachers around Social Studies, Algebra, Technology and other targeted subjects during the summer, and will continue to work closely with principals, teachers, and parents to ensure sustained progress. As part of their recent contract, teachers will now devote 80 minutes each Monday to professional development to strengthen their ability to teach new Common Core standards, learn from instructional coaches and increase peer-to-peer learning. Additionally, the contract has increased parent engagement by including additional one-on-one time with teachers and families during each school week to ensure that our parents are our partners in this rigorous endeavor.

As New York City schools transition to the higher Common Core standards, the State and city continue to focus on improving student learning and meeting the whole needs of every child, not just “teaching to the test.” The math and English exams are one of many measures to evaluate the critical thinking skills of our students and their readiness for college, careers, and a lifetime of learning.

The Department of Education continues to partner with schools and families to ensure that all students are getting the best education possible. Starting when schools are back in session, families can learn more about the new tests, view their child’s test results, and find out about available supports for their child at arisparentlink.org. Parents should reach out to their schools if they need support to access their child’s scores in ARIS. Interpretation services will be provided. Details are available at http://schools.nyc.gov/.