New Rochelle Shows Improvement In New York State Test Scores

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – New Rochelle parent Anna Seward is not satisfied with the district’s test scores that were released Tuesday by the New York State Department of Education.

She referred to the test results for Isaac E. Young Middle School as “appalling” in English language arts on The New Rochelle Daily Voice’s Facebook page. “All they do is teach them to pass the test and only about half of them can!” she said.

But Seward also said she feels that certain schools throughout the district have changed for the better.

“Trinity seems like they are continuing to improve, but still need more improvement but at least they seem to be on the way,” she said of Trinity Elementary School. “Those are my children's two schools. Comparing Isaac to Albert Leonard is very disturbing to Isaac parents, I do not feel all Isaac students are getting the education they deserve,” she said on Facebook.

New Rochelle School District students in grades three through eight showed improvements in 2012 in their New York State standardized tests scores, but still trail Westchester County averages, according to the state’s results.

Students’ test scores fall into one of four categories. The first two indicate a student is below proficiency. A student at level three meets the proficiency standard, while a level four student exceeds it.

New Rochelle had 61.9 percent of students in those grades meet or exceed the proficiency standard on the ELA test, and 72.8 percent meet or exceed the proficiency standard on the math test. While most district scores were higher than last year's, this year's scores fall below the county-wide averages.

In all of Westchester County, 65.96 percent of the students scored at or above the proficiency standard on the ELA tests and 73 percent scored at or above the proficiency standard on the math tests.

Statewide, test scores were on the rise, as 55.1 percent of third- through eighth-graders met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard and 64.8 percent met or exceeded the standard in math.

"There is some positive momentum in these numbers," said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch in a release. "But too many of our students, especially students of color, English Language Learners and special education students, are currently not on a course for college and career readiness."

According to the state, as a result of raising the bar for what it means to be proficient in ELA and math, fewer students met or exceeded the standard in 2010. In 2012, progress toward the new ELA standard varied by grade, though progress toward the math standard increased slightly.

John B. King Jr., commissioner of the state education department, said the tests will get harder in 2013 when the department implements the Regents Reform Agenda, which includes new college- and career-ready standards and a new "fair and transparent teacher and principal evaluation system."

The New Rochelle School District said it is currently looking at the scores.

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