Test scores fall sharply statewide, but NYC fares relatively well

The state’s first round of Common Core test scores are out and they are just as low as officials warned.

But there is some good news for New York City: Its scores are close to the state average, and far ahead of those of other large cities.

Statewide, 31.1 percent of students scored proficient or higher in reading, compared to 55.1 percent last year on the non-Common Core aligned tests. In math, 31 percent of students statewide scored proficient, compared to 64.8 percent last year.

As expected, New York City’s scores are lower than they have been, too. But the good news for city students and educators — and, perhaps especially, for Mayor Bloomberg — is that the city’s proficiency rates are not so far off the state’s.

In reading, 26.4 percent of city students hit the state’s new proficiency standard. In math, that proportion was 29.6 percent. Both of the proficiency rates are just a few percentage points off the state average.

The picture gets even better when looking at the scores of other large cities with student populations similar in many ways to New York City’s. While the new scores have New York City students hitting the proficiency standard only about half as often as they did last year, other cities saw performance fall more sharply. In Buffalo, only a third as many students — 9.6 percent — are considered proficient in math as they were last year. In Rochester, only a fifth as many students — just 5 percent — hit the math proficiency bar.

City officials are sure to tout the comparative perspective at their press conference this afternoon, which State Education Commissioner John King and Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch are both attending. We’ll have more about the scores and what they mean — and what they don’t — later today.

The state’s full set of data about the scores is below: