Cazenovia district may fail to meet state math test participation number requirement

High number of opt outs may cause district to submit ‘improvement plan’ to state education department

— In 2013, 100 percent of Cazenovia students participated in the state-mandated English Language Arts and Math tests for grades 3 through 8. This year, many parents chose to “opt out” their children from the tests and, in Math at least, the lower participation may have caused Cazenovia to fail to meet the state’s Adequate Yearly Progress requirements, Superintendent Bob Dubik told the board of education last week.

The final number tabulations for Cazenovia have not been made by the state yet, but in math the district is right on the line between achieving and failing the required 95 percent participation rate, Dubik said. A failure this year means the district must write a “district improvement plan” to submit to the state education department to explain how they will increase participation in 2015; a failure to reach 95 percent next year would put the district in jeopardy of losing Title 1 funding.

“Our best guess is that we will be close on making or not the 95 percent for math. It may not be surprising if we don’t make it. It might depend on how they round,” Dubik said. “There is no impact on money as of yet, but overall we’ll have to wait and see what state says.”

The state ELA and math tests are part of the New York P-12 Common Core Learning Standards, which were adopted in New York in 2013. The tests are intended to “ help students, parents, and educators better understand the instructional shifts demanded by the Common Core and the rigor required to ensure that all students are on track to college and career readiness,” according to state education department information.

The tests do not count towards a student’s grades or overall academic record, instead the results are used to evaluate teachers and administrators. The test participation requirements are ted to state aid to districts.

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