© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

Fourth Grade English Test Scores Drop

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The State Board of Regents reported Thursday that student achievement in elementary English declined for the first time since 1999.

State education officials say 62 percent of fourth graders met state standards in English, down from the 2003 figure of 64 percent. Forty-seven percent of eighth grade students met the state standards in English, up two percentage points from 2003 but still below the 48 percent rate of 1999.

Chancellor Robert Bennett of Tonawanda says the Regents will take some time to analyze the report.

"The bottom line when you strip away everything else is academic achievement, quality teaching and performance of the kids," Bennett said. "So, we need to be more urgently concerned about spending more time on the task of making sure children get the help they need. No barriers should get in the way of that."

In Buffalo, English test scores for fourth and eighth grade students improved slightly from last year, though are still well below the statewide figures. Outgoing Schools Superintendent Marion Canedo said she won't be satisfied until all students are meeting the standards.

"We've worked very hard. The standards have been increased, and we know our kids can meet them," Canedo said. "But it takes time to change the curriculum. It takes dollars, too, which is something we haven't had."

Canedo said the district is planning to expand a pilot program at the middle school level that will held students most in need improve their reading and math skills.