Focus on Education
5:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Second round of Common Core results show 'modest, but real' progress

New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and State Education Commissioner John King released results Thursday of the April 2014 Common Core assessments for grade 3-8 math and English Language Arts. Students made slight improvement in math grades 3-8 with 35.8% passing, up from around 31%, but students are doing about the same in English at about 31%.

Common Core workbook.
Common Core workbook.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

In releasing the results Chancellor Tisch stated the gains are "modest", but this shows "real progress."  Tisch noted that students made significant progress in math, but scores were not as strong for the ELA results. 

"Students can achieve if teachers are given the right support and professional development," said Tisch.   The chancellor said it's clear they "still a long way to go" and have "much more to do."

In reviewing the statewide results in an afternoon conference call, Commissioner King also noted that students are "making progress" with significant gains in math and individual schools performing much better."     

The Buffalo Public School District says it will use numbers as basis to evaluate and inform efforts.  The District says five schools increased their ELA scores by more than 5% and 11  city schools increased their math scores by more than 5%.

The District issued the following statement in response to the results Wednesday afternoon:

"As a benchmark for college and career readiness, this past year’s English Language Arts (ELA) level 3 and 4 grew by .5 percentage points, while Math scores grew by 3.4 percentage points.  We look specifically to level 3 and 4 because they denote those students on track at grade level and more likely to be college and career ready.  Overall level 3 and 4 for grades 3rd through 8th are 12% for ELA and 13% for Math.

In looking at test scores, we hope for dramatic gains, but we also understand that steady gains reflect individual efforts and alignment of the curriculum, assessment and instruction that we strive for.  These tests are but one basis we use in order to evaluate our efforts, weighed against the fact that we recognize that a program has to be in place for a period of time. 

At this time, analysis of the numbers shows us a trend that describes improvement.  Building by building, this is the result of hard work informed by data and use of best practice, strong leadership in buildings, and commitment to at every level across the district to support classroom instruction.

Five (5) schools increased their ELA scores by more than 5%.  They are as follows: Stanley M. Makowski Early Childhood Center #99, Pfc. William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence #79, Roosevelt Early Childhood Center #65, Frederick Law Olmsted School #64, and Dr. George E. Blackman School of Excellence #54.

Eleven (11) schools increased their math scores by more than 5%.  They are as follows: Stanley M. Makowski Early Childhood Center #99, Pfc. William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence #79, Roosevelt Early Childhood Center #65, Southside Elementary #93, Lorraine Elementary #72, Houghton Academy #69, Dr. Antonia Pantoja #18, Early Childhood Center #82, School #81, Frederick Law Olmsted School #156, and City Honors School #195.

Going into our third year of Common Core Curriculum implementation, our continued success will come with more effective use of student results to guide instruction and professional development. The Buffalo Public Schools administration and staff will use these tools in the coming school year to raise the level of teaching and learning and build confidence in both students and staff toward the success of all students."