Skaneateles test scores drop due to new standards

Math, ELA results still well above state average

According to this year’s math and English Language Arts (ELA) tests administered by the state of New York, less than a third of students in grades three through eight are performing at grade level.

The scores, released Wednesday, Aug. 7, represent a significant drop since last year, but State Education Commissioner John King said there is no cause for alarm.

“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,” King said. “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 road map to future success.”

The percentage of students who reached proficiency levels in the Skaneateles Central School District, dropped significantly from last year’s results, though the district’s results are still above the state-wide average of 31 percent of students reaching or exceeding proficiency for math and 31.1 percent for ELA.

The average across all grades in Skaneateles was 80.1 percent for ELA last year and 53.5 percent this year. For math, the average dropped from 82.1 percent to 41.2 precent.

This year’s exams mark the first time exams incorporated the Common Core learning standards, a more rigorous benchmark approved by the Board of Regents in 2010.

The Skaneateleles board of education has taken multiple measures recently in anticipation of the more advanced standards that will come with the transition to the Common Core standards. Earlier this year the board voted to switch to full-day kindergarten citing the increased standards for first graders under the common core as one of the reasons.

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