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Education officials bracing for low test scores

WBFO News file photo

Albany and Washington are preparing parents, students and advocates in New York's school system for bad test results Wednesday.

The New York State Education Department brought Education Secretary Arne Duncan to New York City Tuesday to warn parents not to be alarmed if math and English test scores for grades 3-8 drop significantly.

Albany has been warning test scores may drop as much as 30 percent below last year's scores. Duncan says the spring tests establish a new "baseline measurement" of student learning.

District Parent Coordinating Council President Sam Radford says Buffalo's scores may drop more.

"Buffalo has a separate and unequal education system. The way we would do placement in this system is basically an educational caste system" Radford said.

"We take our brightest students and separate them out and put them in the best schools so we don't if they have better principals or better teachers. How would you know that if you have the best students?"

Buffalo's test scores have been dismal, with more schools going on the failing list than are coming off and graduation results from the students taking those tests have also been dismal.

Radford says the district needs to look at districts which are doing well and apply those lessons in city schools.