standardized test scores

Common Core test results released; large number of opt-outs skew numbers

August 12, 2015

The state Education Department, noting that one in five students refused to take the English Language Arts and mathemtatics standardized tests in the spring, released the results of the statewide testing programs in grades 3-8.

At Scotia-Glenville, the percentage of opt-outs - meaning hundreds of students refused to take the standardized tests - were 34 percent for ELA and 39 percent for mathematics, according to figures from the state.

Here is the information from the state:

Overall, students statewide have made incremental progress in ELA and math since 2013, the first year assessments aligned to the more rigorous Common Core Learning Standards were administered in grades 3-8, according to the state.

For ELA, the statewide percentage of test-takers scoring at proficient levels (levels 3 and 4) in 2015 was 31.3, compared to 30.6 in 2014 and 31.1 in 2013.

For math, the statewide percentage of test-takers scoring at proficient levels (levels 3 and 4) in 2015 was 38.1, compared to 36.2 in 2014 and 31.1 in 2013.

At Scotia-Glenville, the "proficiency rates" - the percentage of students achieving a Level 3 and 4 on the exams - increased in virtually every grade level compared with the 2014 results. That held true on the ELA and mathematics exams.

As would be expected, the percentage of students scoring in the two lowest levels - Levels 1 and 2 - also declined from 2014.

These same trends can been seen in these individual school results at Scotia-Glenville.

Now in the third year of Common Core testing, the state Education Department said today that New York's students are making steady progress in meeting the more rigorous standards.

“The transition to new learning standards is not easy, and success isn’t instantaneous,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “Teachers across the state are working hard to help students reach the high bar we’ve set for them. In fact, we’ve increased seven points in math in two years. Thousands more of New York’s students are on track to graduate high school prepared to do more rigorous math. Now is the time for the state and districts to make certain that students move to the next level. It’s clear to me that we must do a better job of supporting our teachers and principals as they continue to shift their practice to the higher learning standards.”

With 20 percent statewide - and more than one third at Scotia-Glenville - the fact that many fewer students took the tests impacts the credibility of the figures. They can not realistically be compared with prior years' scores.

“This year, there was a significant increase in the number of students refusing the annual assessments,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said. “We must do more to ensure that our parents and teachers understand the value and importance of these tests for our children’s education. Our tests have been nationally recognized for providing the most honest look at how prepared our students are for future success, and we believe annual assessments are essential to ensure all students make educational progress and graduate college and career ready.”

Here are Scotia-Glenville's test results from the state Education Department (PDF).

Here are all NYS schools' results released by the state Education Department (PDF - large file, 1,713 pages).

Common Core tests, which are being administered to millions of students in 46 other states, are based on the more rigorous Common Core Learning Standards curriculum and the Common Core State Standards Initiatives

The standards are designed to better prepare children for the requirements of college and the work place after they graduate. The goal of the new standards is to help students better develop skills and gain exposure in the areas that matter most in the world that awaits them after graduation. The result is that students are being asked to learn new skills, concepts and different ways of approaching questions and solving problems. The new standards are reflected in an updated curriculum in the schools and are now reflected on state exams.

The tests are still scored using the range from a high of Level 4 to a low of Level 1:

Level 4 scores mean that students "excel in the Common Core Learning Standards" for that grade level.

Level 3 means that students are "proficient in the Common Core Learning Standards" for that grade level.

Level 2 scores mean that students are "not proficient in the Common Core Learning Standards" for that grade level (partial but insufficient)

Level 1 scores mean that students are "well below proficient in the Common Core Learning Standards" for that grade level.


Scores released today for Scotia-Glenville: 2015

Today, these district-wide scores were released for Scotia-Glenville. The numbers are the percentage of students whose test scores fell in that particular level at all schools in the school district. The mean scale score represents the average score achieved by all students taking the exam at that grade level:

Here are the school-by-school testing results, which show similar improvements in the "proficiency levels" - students scoring in Levels 3 and 4 - at each school.


English Language Arts results (2014 results in parenthesis)

Grade LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4 Mean Scale Score  
3 - 157 students 34.4% (42.0%) 35.7% (31.0%) 25.5% (24.0%) 4.5% (3.0%) 297  
4 - 155 students 25.2% (33.0%) 40.0% (38.0%) 24.5% (22.0%) 10.3% (7.0%) 302  
5 - 159 students 28.9% (36.0%) 37.1% (36.0%) 22.6% (20.0%) 11.3% (9.0%) 302  
6 - 130 students 31.5% (30.0%) 41.5% (47.0%) 17.7% (15.0%) 9.2% (8.0%) 298
7 - 105 students 32.4% (44.0%) 32.4% (35.0%) 32.4% (19.0%) 2.9% (3.0%) 293
8 - 94 students 36.2% (33.0%) 25.5% (41.0%) 27.7% (19.0%) 10.6% (8.0%) 293


Mathematics results (2013 results in parenthesis)

Grade LEVEL 1 LEVEL 2 LEVEL 3 LEVEL 4 Mean Scale Score  
3 - 152 students 28.9% (34.0%) 33.6% (27.0%) 25.0% (31.0%) 12.5% (8.0%) 300
4 - 146 students 21.2% (32.0%) 38.4% (34.0%) 26.7% (24.0%) 13.7% (10.0%) 305  
5 - 152 students 21.7% (37.0%) 30.9% (31.0%) 30.9% (23.0%) 16.4% (9.0%) 312  
6 - 111 students 27.0% (22.0%) 30.6% (47.0%) 24.3% (20.0%) 18.0% (11.0%) 306  
7 - 81 students 24.7% (27.0%) 34.6% (46.0%) 29.6% (18.0%) 11.1% (10.0%) 310  
8 - 66 students 31.8% (34.0%) 42.4% (44.0%) 22.7% (21.0%) 3.0% (1.0%) 295  

Results above include out of district students in grade 8.


Change in cut scores

In the past, each level of the results - Levels 4, 3, 2 and 1 - had a specific range of acceptable scores on the tests. In general, the scores were based on a maximum score of 800.

The new tests are based on a maximum score of 423, though that varies by the grade as can be seen in the charts below. No test had a higher maximum score than 423.

By and large, the spread of scores is largest in Level 1 and smaller in Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Below are the new state "cut scores" for the ELA and math exams:


English Language Arts test score ranges

3 147-290 291-319 320-357 358-429
4 138-286 287-319 320-342 343-423
5 97-288 289-319 320-345 346-413
6 117-282 283-319 320-337 338-421
7 98-286 287-317 318-346 347-414
8 100-283 284-315 316-342 343-412


Mathematics test score ranges

3 137-284 285-313 314-339 340-397
4 137-282 283-313 314-340 341-405
5 127-293 294-318 319-345 346-415
6 125-283 284-317 318-339 340-411
7 124-292 293-321 322-347 348-398
8 124-292 293-321 322-348 349-400


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With new standards and tougher tests, state adjusts AIS requirements

October 29, 2013

In light of the major changes taking place in classrooms across the state – including new learning standards and tougher state assessments – state leaders have lowered the threshold that determines when a district must provide formal academic support programming to a student. Read more here (PDF).


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Response to Intervention (RTI)

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a process used in schools to provide well-designed instruction, closely monitor all students' progress and provide additional instructional supports to students who are not meeting grade level expectations. Read more here (PDF).


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Higher standards will boost college and career readiness

The bottom line is that while we all put importance on a given year’s test results, the larger purpose of education is making sure that students have the skills, knowledge, and experiences they need to be successful in life. We continue to be committed to this goal and to preparing our students for the increasingly competitive world.

State officials emphasize that fact: these new standards will ultimately strengthen instructional programs and that the 2013 exams will serve as a baseline of student performance for us to build upon in future years.

Here is an overview of the testing program and anticipated results from the New York State Board of Regents' July meeting -

“Every time a college freshman takes a placement exam that first month on campus, he or she is being tested against the very expectations in the Common Core," wrote NYS Education Commissioner John King.

"Every time a high school graduate faces a daunting task on a challenging job (from the welder applying knowledge of fractions to the electrician reading the National Electrical Code), he or she is being tested against the Common Core. And quite frankly, our students are not doing well enough on those real world tests. Only about 35 percent of our students graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary to be called college- and career-ready.”

Educators across New York are watching the results carefully because the standardized student scores and growth in student improvement from one year to the next will become a component (at least 20%) of their annual state-mandated principal and teacher evaluations (APPR) in the future.

Many felt the implementation of the Common Core standards was rushed in New York. They argued that teachers did not have adequate time to prepare new curriculums and class lessons and that students' knowledge bases should have been incrementally built over a period of time.

Despite the change in standardized testing, the state Education Department has taken care to ensure the testing process is done as fairly as possible and to ensure that students and educators will not be adversely affected by changes in the design of state tests. The state-provided growth scores for teachers and principals (to be distributed later this fall) will be based on year-to-year scale score comparisons of similar students, all of whom experienced the new state tests for the first time at the same time in 2012-13.

Hence, the teacher/principal growth scores will result in similar proportions of educators in each of the four HEDI categories (highly effective, effective, developing, and ineffective) in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12.

As always, feel free to contact your child’s teacher or principal if you have questions about the state exams or the new standards. In addition, please visit for a variety of materials relating to the Common Core Learning Standards.


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New York State Regents exams

Scotia-Glenville results

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) I

Mean Scores Critical reading Mathematics
Scotia-Glenville  509  527
New York State  485  499
United States  497  514

Scotia-Glenville High School Profile (PDF) - information about the most recent graduating class that is used when transcripts are sent to colleges this year.


Graduation information

Here is graduation and post-graduation information from the most recent class.

Advanced Placement Courses Offered
Calculus AB & BC
Computer Science*
Computer JAVA
English Literature
U.S. history
World History
*Offered based on demand

Number of students taking AP courses: 131

Percent scoring a 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) final exams in 2013.
Advanced Placement (AP) students earn college credit by enrolling in certain courses in high school. The credit is accepted by many colleges.

In 2013, 121 Scotia-Glenville students were enrolled in AP courses and took 197 AP exams (some students enroll in more than one AP course). Of the 121 students, 99 of them (82%) received college credit. Students must receive a 3 or higher to receive the college and school credit. Students who receive a score or 2 or 1 receive school credit only. Figures below show the percentage receiving a score of 3 or higher on the exams offered:

Biology: 71.4%
Calculus AB: 30%
Calculus BC: 85.7%
Chemistry: 73.1%
Economics: 81.2%
English Literature and composition: 72.7%
Psychology: 65%
US Government and Politics: 100.0%
US History: 80.8%
World History: 62.1%


Percent receiving college credit through the University in the High School (UHS) program in 2012.
University in the High School (UHS) students earn State University of New York college credit by enrolling in the following courses though Schenectady County Community College.
In 2012, 388 Scotia-Glenville students were enrolled in UHS courses and 340 of them (87.6%) received college credit. Students must maintain a C average in the course to receive the college credit. Figures below show the percentage of students who received UHS college credit for those courses:

Schenectady County CC
Business Law: 84.5%
CISCO IT Essentials (fall): 91.3%
CISCO IT Essentials (spring): 100.0%
CISCO CCNA Discovery Program: 88.9%
Intro to Computers
: 93.8%
Entrepreneurship: 73.3%
College French 4: 70.6%
College French 5: 100.0%
College Spanish 4: 80.6%
College Spanish 5: 100.0%

Introduction to Drawing: 100%
Math 12 (Pre-Calc): 87.5%
Statistics (fall): 62.5%
Statistics (spring): 100.0%


University in the High School (UHS) students earn State University of New York college credit by enrolling in the following course though SUNY Cobleskill. Figures below show the percentage of students who received UHS college credit for the course:

Child Growth/Development: 100%


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