State tests: ‘Transition’ is not going well

New York state education officials are attempting to put the best face on what are some subpar outcomes.

Last week, the state announced the math and English Language Arts results for students in grades three to eight. It was not a pretty picture.

In the county, the best test result of the 12 exams was in grade three math, where 37 percent of those who took the test were found to be proficient by scoring at Levels 3 and 4. On the flip side, 63 percent scored in Levels 1 and 2, which is considered to be failing.

Education officials noted that the math scores were higher this year. “Like more than 40 other states, we’re in a period of transition; for us, that transition began with the adoption of higher standards in 2010,” said state Education Commissioner John King. “We’ve invested millions of dollars in training to support educators to better prepare students for college and career success, and we will invest millions more in the years ahead. These assessment results, along with our college- and career-ready high school graduation rate and (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores, show we have a lot of important work ahead of us to ensure the success of all our students. But with proper support and resources and an intense focus on continuous improvement of instruction, New York’s educators and parents will help our students develop the skills they need for success in the 21st century.”

Most of this transition is due to the Common Core standards, which have come under fire from many. Needless to say, these results will only add fuel to that fire.