Test Scores Show Mayor de Blasio Should Build on New York City's Legacy of Progress

Jenny Sedlis // August 14, 2014

The big news this year is that once again New York City continues to set the pace for all cities across the state.  After 12 years of an ambitious reform agenda, New York City schools are nearly tracking the rest of the state. The hard work and constant willingness by Mayor Bloomberg and his chancellors to challenge the system, try new ideas and refuse to accept the status quo led to tremendous gains.  Mayor de Blasio should look to expand those successful policies which he inherited, such as injecting accountability into every level of the system and creating 654 new schools, including 173 charter schools, to give parents better options. Further, the positive results for New York City charter schools validate Governor Cuomo's strong commitment to ensuring school choice for families.  

However, with only 37 percent of children leaving high schools across the state with the skills they need for college or career, we clearly owe it to our kids to keep pushing forward on these reforms. Just four years into the 12-year phase-in of the Common Core we cannot allow a return to the failed policies of the past that created a broken education system.  We need to press forward with higher standards more now than ever before.

  • Overall, New York students did better in math and slightly better in ELA.

  • New York City performance approached statewide levels:

    • Percentage of students who met or exceeded the proficiency standard in New York City increased to 34.5 in math and 29.4 in ELA, as compared to 35.8 in math and 31.4 in ELA statewide.

  • Achievement gaps for African-American and Hispanic students narrowed, particularly in NYC.

  • Student performance continues to be poor in the 16 high-need neighborhoods where StudentsFirstNY parent chapters are located. The average proficiency rates across the five districts with the highest concentration of StudentsFirstNY parent members (Districts 5, 13 , 16, 19, and 23, which include neighborhoods like Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York and Brownsville) are 16% for both math and ELA.

  • NYC charter schools continue to dramatically outperform the rest of the district and the state in math. In ELA, NYC charters showed greater growth than the rest of the state.

  • Results of NY Common Core-aligned assessments closely mirror NAEP results, and proficiency cut-off scores remained the same.