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Slight rise in state tests scores based on Common Core

By ANNA MEILER

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The New York State Department of Education released the 2014 test assessments based on the Common Core Thursday, showing a slight increase from last year's low scores that caused an uproar.

Many parents were angry after the 2013 assessments because of the low percent of students that scored proficient and in part blamed the speedy rollout of the Common Core.

In 2013, 31 percent of students in grades three through eight scored proficient. This year 35.8 percent of students in grades three through eight scored proficient in math, meaning they received a three or a four on the test. The improvement on the ELA tests were much flatter, increasing from 31.3 percent to 31.4 percent scoring proficient.

"We need to thank and congratulate the parents and students and teachers and administrators for that work and that doesn't mean simply because we've demonstrated that growth that we have time to sit back and not look at the next part of the challenge. How do we continue that growth? I think with English Language Arts it shows that getting used to the curriculum materials, getting used to the way we teach, looking at different forms of curriculum, we have work to do," said Howard Mettelman, superintendent for Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES.

Mettelman says that's not all that needs work.

"Many of our general education students did fairly well on the assessments, where our students with disabilities, the new, higher level standards were very challenging and and in addition, our English Language Learners also will need additional supports to demonstrate proficiency on this higher level exam," said Mettelman.

The superintendent for Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES, Mark Vivacqua, also responded saying, "Conclusions about our local results will require more time and analysis but general results are encouraging given the challenges we face. Lack of resources continues to be an issue but many poor schools have found ways to compensate and we will learn from their efforts."

Over the phone, New York State Education Commissioner John King, said the goal from the start was to make incremental progress over time and that this year's scores show a significant step forward.

About 50,000 students opted out of the tests across the state and 1.1 million students were tested in all.

You can find scores broken down by district here: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/ela-math/2014/201314ELAandMath-UnmatchedStudents.pdf

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