Bloomberg On Test Scores Aug. 8, 2011

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					                                     THE CITY OF NEW YORK
                                             OF T H E M A Y O R
                                      O F FI C E
                                        NEW YORK, NY 10007

                                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                            No. 288
                                                            August 8, 2011
                                                            www.nyc.gov

      MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CHANCELLOR WALCOTT HAIL CONTINUED
         PROGRESS BY NEW YORK CITY STUDENTS ON STATE TESTS

  New York City Students Dramatically Outpace Rest of State – Only One of Big Five Cities To See
                                Gains in Both Math and English

    Percentage of Students with Proficient Math Scores Increased by 3.3 Points Since Last Year,
                           Proficient English Scores Up by 1.5 Percent

         Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott announced today
that New York City public school students in grades 3 through 8 made gains on the State’s annual
Math and English exams, outpacing the rest of State and showing that, despite large changes to the
tests, significant progress is being made in New York City schools. The percentage of New York
City students meeting the State’s bar for proficiency increased by 3.3 points in Math – from 54
percent to 57.3 percent – and 1.5 points in English – from 42.4 percent to 43.9 percent. Unlike New
York City, none of the Big Four urban school districts – Rochester, Yonkers, Buffalo, and Syracuse –
saw increases in both Math and English. Beginning with last year’s test, the State increased the
number of correct answers required for a student to be labeled proficient – as a result, the percentage
of students meeting standards fell across the State last year, although City students expanded their
actual progress by all other measures. This year, the exams themselves were made longer and more
challenging. Even so, City students made significant gains in nearly every grade and subject.

        “All of our students, teachers and principals should be very proud of their progress and the
fact that we continue to raise achievement levels and outpace the rest of the state,” said Mayor
Bloomberg. “But as much progress as we have made, we know we have much more work to do. We
are fully committed to ensuring that all of our students are prepared for a successful future.”

       “This is real proof that when expectations are raised, our students can rise to the occasion,”
said Chancellor Walcott. “It’s a model we plan to follow across the board – with higher standards in
our curriculum, graduation requirements, and accountability measures for schools – to ensure our
students are on track for success in college and careers. New York City students and families should
be proud of their continued progress, even with these tougher standards for success.”
        Since 2002, student gains in New York City have far outpaced those in the rest of the State on
the annual Math and English exams. This year, in New York State as whole, 63.3 percent of students
met the proficiency standard in Math (up from 61 percent last year) and 52.8 percent met the English
proficiency standard (a decrease from 53.2 percent last year). New York City is significantly
outperforming the state’s Big Four cities:
            In Buffalo, 26.9 percent of students met the English proficiency standard (down from
               27.7 percent last year); 31 percent met the Math standard (up from 29.8 percent last
               year).
            In Rochester, 24.4 percent of students met the English proficiency standard (down
               from 25.3 percent last year); 29.4 percent met the Math standard (up from 28 percent
               last year).
            In Syracuse, 22.5 percent of students met the English proficiency standard (down
               from 25.5 percent last year); 25.3 percent met the Math standard (down from 25.7
               percent last year).
            In Yonkers, 37.8 percent of students met the English proficiency standard (down from
               39.2 percent last year); 40.4 percent met the Math standard (down from 41.5 percent
               last year).

       New York City’s trend of outpacing the rest of the state has been mirrored on the National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the gold standard for tests nationwide. In fourth grade
English and Math, City students have improved by 11 points since 2002 and seven points in eighth
grade math, while the State has remained flat or seen declines. Overall, New York City’s gains far
exceed the State’s and are even greater than those in the rest of the nation.

        The significant gains recorded by New York City students came despite major changes to the
State exams this year. According to the State Education Department, more than 20 questions were
added to the English tests in every grade, while testing times increased, in some cases by 100
percent. Moreover, a new writing component was introduced in grades 3, 5, and 7, as well as
additional short response and multiple choice questions. On the Math exams, testing time was also
increased, and students were asked to answer word problems and show their work on a broader range
of content.

        Across all groups this year, more New York City students met the State’s bar for proficiency.
In Math, the percentage of proficient black students went from 40.4 percent in 2010 to 44.2 percent
in 2011, and the percentage of proficient Hispanic students went from 46.2 percent to 49.2 percent.
In English, the percentage of proficient black students went from 32.6 percent to 34.8 percent, and
the percentage of proficient Hispanic students went from 33.7 percent to 34.7 percent. White
students, Asian students, English Language Learners and students with disabilities all made gains in
Math, and all groups except English Language Learners made gains in English. The mean scale
scores stayed roughly the same, going from 679 to 680 in Math and 662 to 660 in English.

        These gains mirror those seen across all groups on four-year graduation rates. The graduation
rate reached 60.6 percent for black students and 58.2 percent for Hispanic students, both increases of
more than 20 points since 2005. Across all ethnic groups, more students also earned Regents and
Advanced Regents diplomas – crucial measures of college readiness, and increasingly important, as
the City now holds schools accountable for how well they prepare students for life after high school.




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         Since 2004, when Mayor Bloomberg ended the practice of social promotion – in which
students moved to the next grade regardless of academic performance – New York City has
implemented a standard promotion policy for students in grades 3 through 8. Until 2010, the decision
to recommend a child for summer school was made, in large part, on the basis of his or her State test
results. The past two years, however, due to the State’s late administration of its annual tests, the city
used preliminary results to determine whether each student in grades 3-8 should attend summer
school. On this basis, 34,069 students were recommended for summer school this June.

        After receiving official test results from the State, the City has now learned that 7,117
recommended for summer school did, in fact, meet the standard for promotion to the next grade. Of
those, 4,808 students did not have other issues that would have required them to attend summer
school – had the State released its test scores earlier, those students would not have been
recommended for summer school.

        Starting on Wednesday, August 17, families can view their child’s test results within ARIS
Parent Link at arisparentlink.org. Families who need their username and password can visit an ARIS
Parent Link Access Station at select libraries between Monday, August 22 and Saturday, August 27.
Interpretation services will be provided at each location.

                                                   -30-

       Contact:    Stu Loeser / Julie Wood                                    (212) 788-2958
                   Natalie Ravitz / Matt Mittenthal (Education)               (212) 374-5141

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