‘Transition’ not going well

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

Recently, the state announced the math and English language arts results for students in grades three to eight. It was not a pretty picture.

For example, among the local eighth-grade scores, the best test result for English came from the Fonda-Fultonville school district after 40 percent of the students who took the test met or exceeded the proficiency standard. The same percentage of students at?Wheelerville Union?Free School met or exceeded the proficiency standard for the math test, but the percentage of local eighth-graders who met or exceeded the state standard on math and English tests was well below 40 percent at many local schools. In many local school districts, the percentage of students who reached the standard also fell from the previous year.

Statewide, the spring scores improved slightly from the previous year. A total of 36 percent of students in grades three through eight met or exceeded the state proficiency standard, while last year, 31 percent met the benchmark. On English assessments, the statewide proficiency rate was a flat 31.4 percent, compared to 31.3 percent in 2013.

“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.