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Test scores show drop in achievement statewide, but Cazenovia stays high

How Caz compares with adjacent districts

Cazenovia — ELA: 56.3 percent, Math: 52.3 percent

Chittenango — ELA: 36.9 percent, Math: 35.4 percent

DeRuyter — ELA: 23.5 percent, Math: 19.6 percent

Fabius-Pompey — 43.9 percent, Math: 46.9 percent

Fayetteville-Manlius — ELA: 58.7 percent, Math: 70 percent

Morrisville — ELA: 21.6 percent, Math: 17.9 percent

— The state education department Wednesday released the results of the 2013 English Language Arts and math test scores for students in grades three to eight, and, while test scores were down throughout the state due to the higher overall difficulty of the tests, Cazenovia students scored more than 20 percentage points above the state average.

This year’s assessment tests were the first year to be based on the new national Common Core Learning Standards, a more rigorous benchmark approved by the Board of Regents in 2010. The requirements, which have been adopted in states across the country, are aimed at helping children acquire sophisticated reasoning skills. The goal behind these standards is to move the schools away from rote learning to a writing-intensive curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving skills. Tests are graded on a scale of 1 to 4; levels 3 and 4 indicate proficiency.

Statewide, 31.1 percent of students in grades three through eight met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard, while 31 percent met or exceeded the math proficiency standard — this means that less than a third of students in grades three through eight are performing at grade level.

Last year, those numbers were closer to 55 percent, but state education officials said the tests are so different that they shouldn’t be compared.

“These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century,” said State Education Commissioner John King. “I understand these scores are sobering for parents, teachers and principals. It’s frustrating to see our children struggle. But we can't allow ourselves to be paralyzed by frustration; we must be energized by this opportunity. The results we’ve announced are not a critique of past efforts; they're a new starting point on a roadmap to future success.”

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