State to Give Schools Flexibility on Help From Tests

6:00 PM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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By Joseph Spector

Albany Bureau Chief

ALBANY - The state plans to give schools leeway in providing remediation to students who flunked new standardized tests.

The state Board of Regents on Tuesday plans to approve a proposal that limits how many students will receive added help because so many students failed a new set of standardized tests taken earlier this year.

Schools have warned that they don't have the resources to help as many students who struggled on the tests. The state has said that the test results were down because of new assessment standards.

"Proficiency standards on the 2012 and the 2013 state assessments cannot be directly compared because the 2012 tests were designed to measure different learning standards than the 2013 Common Core tests," the state's memo on the proposal said.

The state Aug. 7 released results for students in third through eighth grade that showed results plunged in the first year of new, tougher standardized tests.

Thirty-one percent of students in elementary and middle school schools were proficient in math and reading on state exams administered last spring, state officials announced Wednesday. That's down from about 65 percent in math and 55 percent in English on exams given in 2012.

The Board of Regents planned to approve the proposal at a committee meeting on Monday.

The new plan would allow schools to base the need for remedial services on the percentile ranking between the 2012 and 2013 results, rather than overall score. That would limit the number of students who need extra help.

Schools would be required by Nov. 1 to post a description of the new process on its Web site or distribute it to parents in writing.

 

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