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February 24, 2011
Science scores suffer in city, especially for older students
More than 60 percent of New York eighth graders scored below basic level on the 2009 NAEP science tests. New York City fourth graders did about as poorly on a national science test in 2009 as those in other large American cities, but the city's eighth graders lag behind their peers. More than 60 percent of city eighth graders scored below basic on the National Assessment of Educational Progress science exams. Nationally, 38 percent of students scored below the basic level, and 56 percent of students in large city school districts did not meet that bar. The city's fourth graders fared better. Still, 44 percent scored below basic on the science tests. In other large cities, roughly the same percentage of students didn't score above the "basic" bar. The Department of Education's Chief Academic Officer, Shael Polakow-Suransky, said that the city was focusing on introducing national "Common Core" standards into classrooms as a strategy to boost achievement in science. The standards include a focus on reading and writing non-fiction and technical texts in subjects like science.
May 17, 2010
Reading the NAEP tea leaves: a good sign for NYC?
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein does not take questions from reporters without considering how the answers will make him look. So it seems noteworthy that Klein has decided to publicly discuss New York City's results on a prominent national reading exam. On Thursday, Klein will join a panel of people lined up to speak about the latest scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for reading, commonly known as NAEP, in urban school districts. Results for each state have already been released and New York State students' showed no significant progress in the last eight years. But seeing Klein's name on the list I can't help but wonder if the city will have a different story. In 2007, the last time that New York City students took the NAEP reading exam, the city's fourth graders had made some progress since 2002, but its eighth graders' scores had not significantly changed since 2003.
December 8, 2009
Klein spotlights shrinking city-state performance gaps
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein defended the city's results on the NAEP math exams this afternoon at Tweed Courthouse. Frustrated with criticism that city students made no progress on a national math exam in the past two years, Chancellor Joel Klein instead focused on a shrinking performance gap separating city students from their state and national peers today. Speaking at Tweed Courthouse this afternoon, Klein argued that the city has made greater gains in fourth and eighth grade math than the rest of New York State and the United States overall. City fourth graders improved their math scores by 11 points since 2003, Klein said, compared to a rise of one point in the state and five points in the nation. He pointed to similar patterns in eighth grade scores. The percentage of students scoring at or above a proficient level also rose faster in New York City than in the state or nation. Klein said that because other states like Massachusetts have state standards that hew more closely to what is tested on national exams, it is difficult to compare New York City's results to those of other major urban areas like Boston. The city ranked third out of the eighteen urban districts tested by NAEP in fourth grade scores and sixth in eighth grade scores.
December 8, 2009
On U.S. math test, NYC sees gradual but not short-term gains
Fourth grade students' scores were flat this year, but have increased since 2003 and 2005. City students have made no significant improvements on a national math test in the last two years, but years of two and three-point gains have led to a general trend of modestly increasing scores. Eighth grade students did not make meaningful gains this year. Reflecting a pattern of fourth-graders outperforming eighth graders, the older students have seen fewer score gains since 2003. Fourth and eighth grade students' scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation's report card, have been statistically flat since 2007, though both groups have made gains since 2005 and 2003. NAEP scores are typically released on a state-by-state basis, but in 2002 several large cities agreed to have their own figures reported separately. The data does not include test scores from students in charter schools. Compared to students in other large cities, New York City's fourth-graders beat the average score, while its eighth grade students' scores met the average — a pattern that has held constant since 2003.
October 14, 2009
Steiner calls for state math tests to become less predictable
Reacting to differences between the state's own testing data and the results of a national math assessment, Commissioner David Steiner called for the state to review and redesign its tests to make the questions less predictable. "The New York State NAEP scores in mathematics, released today, are of great concern to the Board of Regents and to me," Steiner wrote in a statement. "We are struck by the contrast between results on the NAEP and on New York State's own math tests." The call from Steiner is the strongest language a state education official has used since critics began challenging the state tests in 2007.
October 14, 2009
No improvement for New York state on national math exam
Fourth grade students' performance in New York state. Math scores for students in New York state have hardly budged in the last two years, challenging results from the state's own exams that show significant score increases. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as NAEP, or the nation's report card, is out today and New York's results on the math exam have changed little from 2007. Two years ago, 43 percent of the state's fourth graders were proficient or higher in math, while this year, that number is 40 percent. In 2007, 31 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficient, and in 2009 it was 34 percent.
July 14, 2009
Report: The state's "achievement gap" is narrowing, very slowly
PHOTO: Nell GluckmanA graph using data from the Nation's Report Card shows the achievement gap of fourth graders on a national math exam. A new report throws some cold water on optimism about the state's black-white achievement gap, finding that while the gap is narrowing, it's no different from the national average. The findings were part of a report by the National Center for Education Statistics that examined racial achievement gaps for math and reading across the country. Relying on data culled from the National Assessment of Education Progress exam — also known as the Nation's Report Card — from the early 1990s to 2007, the report zeros in on the scores of the nation's fourth and eighth graders. On a national level, the study found that the reading achievement gap has slowly narrowed, but the math gap has not budged. Students' scores have increased in both areas, but black students' scores need to go up faster than whites' scores in order for the gap to close. "I think New York fits in," said Stuart Kerachsky, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, on a conference call with reporters this morning. "Its gap is not significantly different from the average gap and it didn't change in a significant way."
November 13, 2008
"Unsung" Atlanta sup't embraces NAEP as measure of success
A comparison of urban districts' math score changes over time. From The Nation's Report Card. While most big-city superintendents would rather their scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress just go away, Beverly Hall of Atlanta has gone out of her way to make sure her students’ progress is judged against the national yardstick. In a recent profile of Hall, EdWeek reported: As test scores rose steadily year after year, Ms. Hall wanted to ensure that Atlanta’s progress would not be dismissed by criticism that Georgia’s performance standards and assessment, before recent changes to both, weren’t as rigorous as many other states’. The superintendent decided the city’s students would take a more rigorous national exam and publicly report the scores. Hall's colleagues feared that low scores on the national test would draw negative attention to the city's schools. But instead, Atlanta was the only district that showed significant gains in both reading and math every year.
October 28, 2008
Coming soon: NAEP results on state and city report cards
States and school districts will have to revise their accountability reports to include scores on a national test known as the nation’s report card, the…
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