FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SCHOOLS CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE HIGHEST SCORES EVER BY NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS ON STATE 4TH GRADE MATH EXAM SINCE STANDARDS-BASED TESTING BEGAN
Black and Hispanic Students Achieve at Highest Level Ever on State 4th Grade Exam, Closing the Achievement Gap; Gains by City 4th Grade Students Outpace Rest of the State
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the highest scores ever achieved by New York City public school students on the State 4th Grade math exam. The number of 4th Graders meeting or exceeding standards on the State math exam increased to 77.4% - an increase of 9.3 percentage points from last year, and an increase of 25.4 percentage points from 2002 when it was 52%. The increase marks the highest percentage of 4th Graders meeting or exceeding math standards since standards-based testing began in 1999, and the first time that at least three quarters of all students in one grade met or exceeded standards. The record-high percentage includes the highest levels of Black and Hispanic 4th Grade students meeting or exceeding math standards since standards-based testing began. Black and Hispanic students improved at double the rate of their White and Asian peers, helping to close the achievement gap. While 4th Grade achievement on the State math exam was the highest ever, 8th Grade achievement decreased by 1.6 percentage points. The $40 million middle school intervention program being implemented this fall is targeted to improving the performance of struggling middle school students. The Mayor and Chancellor announced the results at P.S. 40 in Brooklyn.
"The dramatic increase in 4th Grade math scores we announce today is another encouraging sign that our reforms are taking hold," said Mayor Bloomberg. "More 4th Grade students are meeting or exceeding standards than ever since we started standards-based testing, and significant gains by Black and Hispanic students show that we continue to close the achievement gap as well. Our strong core curriculum, focused intervention programs, and Summer Success Academy are making a difference. Overall, in 2005, students in Grades 3-8 achieved the highest performance and largest one-year gains on State and City tests since standards-based testing began. I congratulate the principals, teachers, parents and students on a truly remarkable year."
"Under Children First, our students have made consistent strides in their performance and achievement," said Chancellor Klein. "The results announced today reflect the remarkable and ongoing transformation of the City's public schools, with more than three quarters of children in one grade meeting or exceeding standards for the first time since standards-based testing began. I congratulate our students on their progress, and thank our teachers, principals, staff, and parents for helping our children learn and succeed."
Today, the State Education Department announced the statewide math results for students in grades 4 and 8. New York City's one-year gain of 9.3 percentage points for 4th graders was considerably higher than the statewide gain of 5.7 percentage points, and above the 7.0 gain of other large cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers). At grade 8, the City's 1.6 percentage point decline in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards was less than the 2.2 percentage point decline statewide and the 3.5 percentage point decline for other large cities.
The number of 4th Graders meeting or exceeding standards on the State math exam increased from 68.1% in 2004 to 77.4% in 2005. The percentage of 4th Grade students achieving at Level 4 in Math increased 11.3 percentage points, from 20.0% in 2004 to 31.3% in 2005, the highest percentage since standards-based testing began. In addition, the City recorded its lowest percentage ever of 4th Grade students at Level 1 on the State math exam, 5.4% - down from 7.1% last year, and down from 13.2% in 2002.
As part of the success of 4th Grade students citywide, significant gains by Black and Hispanic 4th graders continued to help close the achievement gap. Black 4th Graders achieved an 11.5 percentage point gain in students meeting or exceeding standards, and Hispanic 4th Graders achieved a 10.2 percentage point gain, while White and Asian 4th graders achieved gains of 5.0 and 4.6 percentage points, respectively. These increases resulted in the highest achievement levels on the State math exam for Black and Hispanic 4th graders since standards-based testing began. In addition, the percentage of Black and Hispanic 4th graders at Level 1 on the State math exam fell to the lowest levels since standards-based testing began, at 6.5% and 6.6% respectively.
Today's results also demonstrate the success of the new Summer Success Academy and promotion policy for 3rd Graders who were in danger of not earning promotion in 2003-2004, the first year of the new promotion policy. 96.5% of 3rd graders who were at risk of not earning promotion in 2003-2004 and then earned promotion based on the summer 2004 tests achieved the Level 2 promotion standard or higher in 2004-2005 in 4th grade, as compared to 94.6% of all 4th grade students tested.
In 8th Grade, 40.8% of New York City public school students achieved at Level 3 or 4 in 2005, a decline of 1.6 percentage points from 2004. However, as in 4th Grade, the percentage of 8th Grade students at Level 1 declined to an all-time low - 20.4%, compared to 22.5% in 2004 - indicating continued improvement among the City's lowest-performing students.
This year, DOE has ended social promotion in the 7th Grade and is implementing a $40 million middle school intervention strategy designed to provide academic interventions and support for struggling middle school students. As part of the initiative, Saturday Preparatory Academy will be expanded to serve at-risk 7th Grade students, with classes beginning October 29th. Targeted funding has been distributed to middle schools to support a range of measures to help struggling students. These include support for academic intervention teams, new intervention specialists and teachers, intervention programs such as Great Leaps and Ramp Up to Algebra, professional development for teachers, principals and staff, counselors and parent workshops.
Overall, in 2005, students in Grades 3-8 achieved the highest performance and the largest one-year gains ever in both math and English Language Arts (ELA) on State and City tests combined since standards-based testing began. 52.9% of students in Grades 3-8 met or exceeded math standards, improving 6.2 percentage points from last year and improving 15.6 percentage points from 2002. 51.8% of students in Grades 3-8 met or exceeded ELA standards, improving 10.7 percentage points from last year and improving 12.5 percentage points from 2002.
Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Jerry Russo (DOE)
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