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New standards mean test scores plummet

— Because these scores supposedly create a new “baseline” for measuring student achievement, King asserted that they would not affect state aid for districts, nor would they negatively impact teacher and principal evaluations.

On a local level, test scores largely fell in line with the rest of the state. In the Liverpool Central School District, about 32.1 percent of students met or exceeded the proficiency standard for the ELA exam, while 37.8 percent did so for the math.

Liverpool Central School District Superintendent Mark Potter said he was taken aback by the reported scores.

“I am somewhat surprised at the number of students scoring at or below proficiency,” Potter said. But, as the commissioner has since suggested, these are now ‘baseline data’ for future comparisons, given the Common Core Learning Standards weren't put into place until late, and the instructional strategies and methods needed to meet these new standards haven't fully been implemented.”

In North Syracuse, meanwhile, 28.5 percent of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard, while 31.2 percent met the math proficiency standard.

North Syracuse Central School District Interim Superintendent Annette Speach said she, too, was disappointed when the scores were released.

“Even though we were warned that the scores would plummet, it was something of a shock seeing how much they did go down,” she said. “No one likes to see a decrease in scores.”

Speach said the district’s administration focused on spreading King’s message that this year’s scores should by no means be compared to those of previous years.

“We’re so used to living in that world,” she said. “We compare them and base our decisions about curriculum and everything on that. It’s a new way of looking at things, and we’re not used to that. But it’s really important that we understand, and that the community understand, these scores are not expected to be compared to the previous year’s scores.”

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