BY BEN ABELSON
The results are in.
The scores on the State math exams given last spring to elementary and junior high school students throughout the City were released by the Department of Education (DOE) on Sept. 13, and while improvements in aptitude were visible throughout the City and borough’s eighth graders, the percentage of borough fourth graders meeting state standards actually declined slightly.
While many of the Queens District Superintendent’s offices contacted by the Tribune declined comment, Anita Saunders, Deputy Superintendent of District 26 said, “We’ve been working on the new standards for a number of years now…the eighth graders are the kids who were getting the [help] a few years ago…the cumulative effects are starting to show.”
In every Queens District there were significant increases in the percentage of eighth graders meeting State standards, with District 28 earning the highest jump, from 33 to 43 percent since 2001.
Among Queens’ fourth graders, there was just over a one-half-of-one-percent decline in the number of students meeting State standards, with many districts experiencing minor increases or decreases.
Saunders attributed the fourth graders’ results to the fact that “they have been exposed to the new standards since the beginning, whereas the eighth graders weren’t.”
Chancellor Joel Klein said, “The improvement in math scores is encouraging news, but much work remains to be done. Our job now is to ensure that we continue to build on this improvement, not only in math, but all disciplines.”
Although Saunders was pleased with the test scores, she couldn’t offer any insight as to how she thought the new, restructured DOE led by Klein would pan out. “I don’t know yet. I’m only going to meet the new chancellor at the end of the week for the first time,” she said.
For detailed results and statistics on any City school or school district, check out the DOE website at www.nycenet.edu.
Test Details To Be Part Of New Student Report Cards
BY ANGELA MONTEFINISE
When public school students in grades four through nine receive their report cards this year, they’ll get a lot more than just their grades.
Starting this year, students will also be given detailed reports assessing their performances on the previous year’s State and Citywide standardized tests, a feature called “innovative” by New York City Department of Education Spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, who said, “These reports will give detailed and specific information on what areas children are strong in and weak in, as well as give suggestions on how parents and teachers can help them improve . . . This is really great, and we think it will greatly help get better results.”
Ortiz explained that the reports will be attached to students’ regular report cards, and will be called, “Grow Reports,” because they will be compiled by the independent statistics company The Grow Network.
Although the reports will cost the City money to produce, Ortiz did not have a price at presstime.
He said, however, “It’s worth the money, 100 percent. This is really innovative and will give teachers and parents tools they never had before to help children succeed . . . In the past, students would get their grades on these standardized tests in the spring, then summer vacation would hit, and that would be it. Now, teachers can go back and see where students need help, and can sit with parents and parent-teacher conferences and go over specific strategies to help students grow. It will give teachers the background to be able to come up with an individual plan that will work for each student.”
The Grow Reports will provide statistical information and suggestions for students based on the Citywide math and reading scores taken by students in third grade through eighth grade, as well as the Statewide math and reading tests taken by fourth and eight graders.
Ortiz said, “We certainly believe that analyzing the test scores further and presenting them to parents with report cards will help make the results on these tests better in Queens and the rest of New York City.”