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Test scores show mixed results for Buffalo students

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New York State students in grades 3-8 are showing some improvement in math and English test scores, according to a report issued by the State Education Department today.

Statewide, 55.1 percent of students across the state showed proficiency in English, up three percent from last year. In math, the proficiency rate was 64.8 percent, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year.

In a prepared statement, Education Commissioner John King noted that the improvements were a small, positive step, but the results still are not good enough.

"We’re building a ladder, grade by grade, to college and career readiness," Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said. "These results are a small, positive sign of growth, but not enough of our students are climbing as steadily as they should be. Next school year, we start to implement reforms to make that ladder strong enough to support all our students as they climb toward college and career readiness."

The scores were lower in Buffalo schools, with a 27.9 percent proficiency rate in English, one percent higher than 2011. But math proficiency decreased in the city from 31 percent to 29.9 percent.

"There is some positive momentum in these numbers," said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch. "But too many of our students, especially students of color, English Language Learners and special education students, are currently not on a course for college and career readiness."

Buffalo's test scores, while low compared to the rest of the state, exceeded those of students in Rochester and Syracuse. These are the results in the "Big 5" districts:

  • In Buffalo, 27.9% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard (up from 26.9% last year); 29.9% met or exceeded the math standard (down from 31% last year).
  • In Yonkers, 40.7% of students met or exceeded the ELA standard (up from 37.8% last year); 46.8% met or exceeded the math standard (up from 40.4% last year).
  • In New York City, 46.9% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard (up from 43.9% last year); 60% met or exceeded the math standard (up from 57.3% last year).
  • In Rochester, 20.7% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard (down from 24.4% last year); 27.3% met or exceeded the math standard (down from 29.4% last year).
  • In Syracuse, 24.2% of students met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard (up from 22.5% last year); 26.9% met or exceeded the math standard (up from 25.3% last year).

A summary of the test results, as well as individual school and district results, is available here.