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Blind Brook Scores Drop On New Statewide Exams

Scores for Blind Brook students fell but stayed above state averages after officials changed the math and English Language Arts exams to match the Common Core curriculum.
Scores for Blind Brook students fell but stayed above state averages after officials changed the math and English Language Arts exams to match the Common Core curriculum. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice File Photo

RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- Students in grades three through eight saw their standardized testing scores drop significantly in Blind Brook and across New York following changes to the state's math and English Language Arts exams.

According to the state's assessment, 62.1 percent of Blind Brook students in grades three through eight ranked proficient or higher on the English Language Arts exam, while 64.3 percent ranked proficient or higher in math. Last year, 84.4 percent met or exceeded proficiency in ELA, and 92.3 percent met or exceeded proficiency in math.

State results show the following grade-by-grade percentages for Blind Brook students:

  • Grade Three - 80 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 87.1 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 40.6 percent for ELA and 41.2 percent for math.
  • Grade Four - 59.8 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 68.3 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 41.6 percent for ELA and 46.1 percent for math.
  • Grade Five - 51.1 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 51.4 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 41 percent for ELA and 39.4 percent for math.
  • Grade Six - 50 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 48.8 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 46.6 percent for ELA and 40.6 percent for math.
  • Grade Seven - 60.6 percent of students met or exceed proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 60.9 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 41.1 percent for ELA and 37.3 percent for math.
  • Grade Eight - 70.8 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 69.3 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 44.2 percent for ELA and 37 percent for math.

The lower scores are not due to poorer performance by students, but rather a change in the exams following the switch to the Common Core curriculum, education officials said.

"It's a new test, so traditionally the scores are going to be down," said Blind Brook Superintendent William Stark. "I think we have to see how these scores pan out and do a basis of comparison against the districts we normally compare ourselves to. You can't take the scores in a vacuum."

Stark said that the district expected the scores to be lower, but that the raising of the bar was one of the reasons officials believed the switch to the Common Core would be a good thing. He said that while the results would be used in teacher evaluations, it was not the only indicator of student success.

"We know that we have a high achieving district, and that on other measures of academic performance our students have rated well. You have to take that into consideration."

The statewide results show that 31.1 percent of New York students met or exceeded proficiency in ELA, and 31 percent met or exceeded proficiency in math. State officials say that they do not intend to identify any new "Focus Districts" or "Priority schools" based on this year's exam results.

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