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New standards mean test scores plummet

— Speach said she did agree with many of the test’s critics.

“I do think [the state] kind of put the cart before the horse,” she said. “They tested on things that hadn’t been taught in a way that we hadn’t been teaching. Now we have to work on realigning the curriculum to teach in accordance with the test, and we’ve done a great deal of work on that over the summer.”

For North Syracuse’s full scores, including district and building aggregates, go to p12.nysed.gov/irs/ela-math/2013/2013ELAandMathemaitcsDistrictandBuildingAggregatesMedia.pdf and start on page 1270. For Liverpool, start on page 1297.

Speach’s comments hold true across the board. Many of New York’s teachers say they were — and still are — inadequately prepared to teach Common Core, and that’s what contributed to low scores.

“These tests were attached to Common Core standards, which have been incompletely rolled out in New York,” said Dr. Teresa Thayer Snyder, superintendent of the Voorheesville Central School District near Albany; the district boasts a 97 percent high school graduation rate, yet has comparable ELA and math proficiency levels to the rest of the state. Snyder, who has been a school administrator for several years, made the comments on her blog, which has been praised by education policy analyst Diane Ravitch. “The material covered large quantities of information that have not been taught, with texts well past grade level and concepts that require cognitive processing that is more typical of older students. From my point of view, after many years of studying teaching and learning — and multiple years spent working in schools — these assessments are impure science. I cannot justify impure science as a means of determining student learning or teacher effectiveness.”

Even in Liverpool, where former Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns implemented Essential and Enduring Learnings” or E2s to bring the curriculum into line with CCLS in 2010, Potter said the district was unprepared for the shift to Common Core.

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