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SFNY Statement: Test Results Paint Honest Picture of Persistent Low Performance

Students Deserve More Than Incremental Gains


"Today’s test results paint an honest picture of how New York’s students are doing — and unfortunately, our system is failing to educate too many children. We cannot deny the public school crisis these numbers so plainly expose. When more than two-thirds of students aren't being taught to read and write on grade level, you have to question who this system is designed to serve. Incremental gains are not going to cut it. We need to dramatically improve teacher quality and school choices if we're going to prepare students for college and careers," said StudentsFirstNY's Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

"Governor Cuomo was right to shine a bright spotlight this year on the desperate need to increase educational opportunity for New York's students." 

Results released today by the State Department of Education show:

  • Students scoring at Level 1, the lowest level, remains unacceptably high with roughly 1/3 across NYC and NYS.
  • 2013 was the first year of testing with higher standards and provided a useful benchmark. By 2015 we would expect significantly more growth in NYC than data shows. As chart 2 shows, growth in proficiency is decreasing
  • The achievement gap remains unacceptably high in NYC and NYS.
  • In NYC, only 1 in 5 black and Hispanic students are on grade level, compared to 1 in 2 white students.
  • Across the board, the system is failing ELLs and students with disabilities.
  • Performance in three of the largest upstate cities is abysmal, with Rochester & Syracuse posting single digit proficiency and Buffalo only slightly higher.
  • Students who opted out were mostly white, low performers who are not economically disadvantaged

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