For More Information Contact:
Jonathan Burman or Tom Dunn at (518) 474-1201
MIDDLE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IMPROVES
ON 2007 GRADE 3-8 ENGLISH TESTS
Achievement in grade 3-8 English has improved overall this year, according to results from newly released State tests.
The improvement is notable in middle school. Grades 6-8 improved. Grade 6 increased by 2.8 percent, grade 7 improved by 1.4 percent, and grade 8 increased by 7.7 percent.
Fewer students also are showing serious academic problems in all grades except grade 3.
The number of English Language Learners taking this year’s tests more than doubled from 2006. This increase was caused by new federal rules under NCLB in which all ELL students who have been in the country for at least one year are now required to take the tests.
Nevertheless, the performance of ELL students dipped only modestly in each grade, a better result than many predicted. The increase in the number of students tested was especially large in elementary school; scores declined overall in grades 3 and 4. The change in rules also affected the overall performance of Hispanic and Asian students.
Results for students with disabilities improved overall. The decline in the percentage of students who showed serious academic problems was especially large.
“The Regents are determined to raise graduation rates. We feel a great sense of urgency,” Regents Chancellor Robert M. Bennett said. “We know that the middle school years leading to 9th grade are absolutely critical in getting students ready for high school work. That’s why the improvement in the middle grades this year is so important.”
“This year’s improvement in every grade of middle school is encouraging,” State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said. “Why did this happen? Successful school leaders tell us they have high expectations for all children, focus on reading in every class, use proven practices that work, and act quickly to give extra help to students as they need it.”
Students receive a specific scale score on the tests which falls into one of four levels:
· Level 4 – Exceeds the learning standards
· Level 3 – Meets the learning standards
· Level 2 – Partially meets the learning standards of meets part of the learning standards
· Level 1 – Shows serious academic problems.
A more detailed breakdown of results is attached in the powerpoint slides.