FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE RECORD HIGH TEST SCORES AND GAINS FOR 3RD, 5TH, 6TH AND 7TH GRADE STUDENTS ON CITY ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND MATH TESTS
Black and Hispanic Students also Achieve Record Gains and Best Performance Ever; Scores Demonstrate Effectiveness of Promotion Policy and Early Grade Interventions
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that New York City's public school students in grades 3, 5, 6 and 7 this year achieved the largest one-year gains ever on the City English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (math) tests, as well as the highest overall scores ever on the tests. The number of students meeting or exceeding standards in these grades combined increased by 14.4 percentage points in ELA and by 7.5 percentage points in math from last year. For the first time, 50% or more of all of the City's students in these grades met or exceeded the ELA (54.8%) and math (50.0%) standards for their grades. In addition, Black and Hispanic students achieved their greatest one-year gains and best performance ever on both tests. The tests are developed and scored by two independent testing companies - Harcourt Assessment, Inc. (ELA) and CTB/McGraw-Hill (math).
"One look at today's City ELA and math results and it's clear that the reforms that we put in place are working," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the last two years we have begun to bring order and accountability to a system that had been dysfunctional for decades. By providing students with the resources they need and holding them, their teachers, and ourselves accountable for producing results, our schoolchildren are now receiving the education they deserve. Today's results, like the achievement and gains on the State test scores released two weeks ago, are remarkable and a sign that things are moving in the right direction. I congratulate the students, teachers and parents that have worked so hard to achieve these record results."
"There is no doubt that our children and our schools are performing better than they were before we instituted the Children First reforms," said Chancellor Klein. "Our new Citywide core curriculum, coaches, professional development, interim assessments, and aggressive intervention programs for struggling students, coupled with the enormously hard work of our teachers and other school staff, all contributed to these tremendous gains. I congratulate all of our students and their parents, as well as all of our school staff, for the extraordinary results."
Record Achievement on City ELA and Math Tests
On the City ELA tests for Grades 3, 5, 6 and 7, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards increased from 40.4% last year to 54.8% this year. The 14.4 percentage point increase is the largest one-year gain ever, and the 54.8% of students meeting or exceeding standards is the highest percentage ever for City ELA tests. Students in each of these of grades achieved both the highest gains and the highest scores ever on City ELA tests, with double-digit one-year gains in 5th Grade from 49.3% to 68.8% (19.5 percentage points), 6th Grade from 33.3% to 48.2% (14.9 percentage points), and 7th Grade from 33.5% to 48.5% (15.0 percentage points), and from 45.7% to 53.5%, a 7.8 percentage point gain for 3rd grade.
In addition, the percentage of students in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7 achieving at Level 1 in ELA declined by 9.0 percentage points overall, marking the largest one-year decline ever from 21.9 % to 12.9% - the lowest percentage of students achieving at Level 1 ever on City ELA tests. The percentage of students at Level 1 on City ELA tests declined in all grades with an 11.9 percentage point decrease in Grade 7 from 29.8% to 17.9%, an 11.6 percentage point decrease in Grade 6 from 22.5% to 10.9%, a 9.3 percentage point decrease in Grade 5 from 16.0% to 6.7%, and a 2.9 percentage point decrease in Grade 3 from 19.1% to 16.2%.
The City ELA improvements follow the nearly 10 percentage point one-year gain on the State 4th grade ELA test announced two weeks ago. New York City students take State ELA and math tests in the 4th and 8th Grades. Combining State and City ELA test results across all grades (3-8), New York City public school students achieved the highest one-year gains ever, 10.7 percentage points, and the largest percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards, from 41.1% to 51.8%, since testing began in 1999. The State Commissioner of Education is expected to announce the results of the State math tests in late summer or early fall.
On the City math tests for grades 3, 5, 6, and 7, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards across all grades increased from 42.5% last year to 50.0% this year. The 7.5 percentage point increase is the largest one-year gain ever, and the 50.0% of students meeting or exceeding standards is the highest percentage ever for City math tests. Students achieved the highest scores ever in all grades and the highest gains ever in 5th Grade from 38.5% to 53.7% (15.2 percentage points), 3rd Grade from 57.7% to 64.8% (7.1 percentage points) and 7th Grade from 33.6% to 40.3% (6.7 percentage points). 6th Grade gained 1.2 percentage points from 40.2% to 41.4%.
In addition, the percentage of students in Grades 3, 5, 6, and 7 achieving at Level 1 in math declined by 4.5 percentage points, marking the largest one-year decline ever from 25.0% to 20.5%. The 20.5% is the lowest percentage of students achieving at Level 1 ever on City math tests. The percentage of students at Level 1 in math declined in every grade except Grade 6, with the largest one-year declines in Grade 5 from 26.2% to 14.4% (11.8 percentage points), and Grade 7 from 36.3% to 28.7% (7.6 percentage points). Grade 3 declined from 16.8% to 14.8% (2.0 percentage points).
Black and Hispanic Students Achieve Record Gains and Highest Performance Ever
New York City's Black and Hispanic students achieved record gains on this year's City ELA and math tests. On City ELA tests, Black students achieved a 14.4 percentage point gain (from 31.5% to 45.9%), and Hispanic students achieved a 15.1 percentage point gain (from 32.4% to 47.5%). Black and Hispanic students also achieved larger ELA gains than Asian and White students, continuing to close the achievement gap. Overall, Black and Hispanic students achieved the highest ELA performance on City tests ever this year.
On City math tests, 38.9% of Black students met or exceeded standards and 42.3% of Hispanic students met or exceeded standards, achieving their highest performance ever. Black students (7.3 percentage points) and Hispanic students (7.4 percentage points) also achieved their highest gains in math ever, consistent with the Citywide achievement gain.
Promotion Policy and Early Grade Intervention Strategies are Working
Students in the 3rd and 5th Grades who were subject to the new promotion policy benefited from additional educational supports and performed extremely well in both ELA and math this year. The number of 3rd Grade students achieving at Level 1 on one or both tests fell from 10,398 students (16.5%) last year to 8,579 (14.0%) this year, not including 785 special education students who were subject to the promotion policy for the first time this year and achieved Level 1. The number of 5th Grade students, achieving at Level 1 on one or both tests was 5,636, which is significantly lower than the 14,695 students who would have been held to the new promotion policy if it had been in effect last year.
The effectiveness of the 5th Grade Saturday Preparatory Academy contributed to the decline in 5th Graders in danger of not earning promotion. Performance on the 5th grade ELA and math tests demonstrate that at-risk students who attended the Saturday Academy regularly achieved the highest performance. More than 20,000 Grade 5 students were invited to attend the Saturday Academy last fall. Over 90% of the at-risk 5th Grade students who attended between 11 and 20 sessions met the Level 2 promotion criteria in ELA and over 72% met the Level 2 promotion criteria in math. Nearly 94% of the 5th Graders who attended 21 or more Saturday Academy sessions met the Grade 5 promotion criteria in ELA and nearly 79% met the Level 2 promotion criteria in math. The Saturday Academy further helped some participants achieve at Level 3 or 4, as 42.5% of the students attending 21 or more sessions met or exceeded 5th Grade standards in ELA and 20.8% met or exceeded 5th Grade standards in math.
All 3rd and 5th Grade students at Level 1 this spring will be invited to the Summer Success Academy and have the opportunity to take the tests again in August. In addition, these students' class work will be evaluated using standard, uniform criteria to determine whether they have met the promotion criteria.
Students held back in the 3rd Grade as a result of the new promotion policy significantly improved their ELA and Math performance this year. 71.1% of these students met the Level 2 promotion standard in ELA compared to 11.5% last year, and 78.3% met the Level 2 promotion standard in math this year compared to 20.5% the previous spring. A total of 1,025 students repeating 3rd Grade this year achieved at Level 1 on one or both City tests in 2005, including 275 students who have been newly as classified special education students.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Jerry Russo (Department of Education)
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