Test scores down sharply; biggest decline for needy students

The day of reckoning has arrived.

After weeks of warning that adjusted standards would mean far fewer students passing state exams this year, state education officials released the exact numbers today.

Average raw scores on the state third through eighth grade math and reading exams remained flat. But because the state decided to raise the scores required for a student to be deemed proficient, the number of students passing fell sharply.

In New York City and other big cities, the number of students passing reading exams dropped by more than a quarter — from 68.8 percent of city students passing last year to 42.4 percent this year in reading, for example.

Just over 53 percent of third through eighth-grade students statewide passed the reading exam, compared to 77 percent last year. Around 61 percent of students passed their math exams, compared with more than 86 percent last year.

Pass rates of students learning English, students with disabilities, and poor students fell the farthest. The percentage of students learning English who passed the reading exam fell by more than half, from 36 percent to under 15 percent. Just 15 percent of students with disabilities passed the reading exam, compared to 39 percent last year.

Right now, Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner David Steiner are presenting the exam results in Albany. We’ll have more updates from the state and city presentations throughout the day.

But for now, the state’s slideshow presentation is below. An analysis of this year’s test results begins on slide 13.