Students in the Nanuet School District scored better than others in Rockland County on the New York State Assessments given in Spring 2013.
But Deputy Superintendent Dr. Steven Schlanger said the results of the first time assessments must be put into perspective.
“Sure we’re very pleased with how we did,” he said. “When you see the drop in scores relative to the previous assessments that is troubling.”
The ELA (English Language Arts) and Math Assessments were the first tests given to gauge students’ understanding of the new Common Core standards. But scores fell in comparison to prior years’ state tests. Although state Education Department officials warned that would happen because the assessments were creating a baseline for future years the results were still a shock to many.
Dr. Schlanger said it was a troubling implementation because it was not rolled out over time giving students the opportunity to learn the curriculum over the course of several years.
“It’s an unfolding curriculum and that’s a challenge,” he said on Friday.
Dr. Schalanger said Nanuet began working on Common Core curriculum as soon as the state announced the switch. He said the district including administrators, curriculum coordinators and teacher leaders began an analysis comparing the state standards of 2005 to the new Common Core Learning Standards and identifying gaps and redundancies.
“They understood it and got on the task immediately,” he said.
He said teachers worked on curriculum during the summers and there has been considerable staff development internally and with Rockland BOCES programs.
Dr. Schlanger gave a presentation on the assessments to the school board last week and will speak about the assessments, Common Core and its six shifts in math and ELA at an elementary school PTA Meeting in November. He said Barr Middle School Principal Roger Guccione will discuss the same topics at a middle school PTA meeting. Dr. Schlanger said parents need to understand the impact of Common Core on schools.
Initially the state said students scoring a Level 1 or 2 on the assessments would require intervention. It has since modified that direction and Dr. Schlanger said Nanuet looked at multiple measures including other test scores and discussions with teachers to determine which students should receive additional help.
“It’s been real targeted intervention,” he said.
Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
3-ELA 10.8 29.3 45.9 14
3-Math 10.8 28 35 26.1
4-ELA 12.2 33.9 26.7 27.2
4-Math 12.2 32.2 34.4 21.1
5-ELA 13.1 31.3 31.8 23.9
5-Math 17.4 29.2 39.9 13.5
6-ELA 10.5 22 26.7 40.8
6-Math 10.4 34.4 24.5 30.7
7-ELA 9.5 25.9 42.4 22.2
7-Math 17.1 38 32.9 12
8-ELA 6.7 32.2 35 26.1
8-Math 12.8 39.4 28.3 19.4
Another major change comes in June with the first Common Core Regents Exam in Algebra given to high school freshman. He noted that Algebra classes also include advanced eighth graders who may be faced with taking an eighth grade Regents test as well as the Common Core Regents Exam. Discussions are under way about possibly exempting those eighth graders from the Grade 8 Mathematics exam.