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PR- 187-07
June 12, 2007


Percentage of Elementary and Middle School Students Meeting State Math Standards Increases by 8.1 Points; Students Scoring at Lowest Level Decreases by 5.1 Points

Black and Hispanic Students Make Greatest Gains

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that the percent of students in Grades 3 through 8 meeting or exceeding State math standards rose by 8.1 points between 2006 and 2007-representing the largest increase since 1999, while also shrinking the achievement gap between students of different racial backgrounds and surpassing gains attained by students in the rest of the State.

"I am proud of our principals, our teachers, our parents-and most importantly, our students-for realizing these record gains," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We have made real and sustained progress over the past five years, and it's due to hard work, smart decision-making, and true accountability for results."

"Our schools are tailoring instruction to meet the needs of individual students. Struggling students are receiving extra help-after school, on Saturdays, over the summer-and our students are thriving," said Chancellor Klein. "Math is essential, both in school and in life, and I'm pleased that more of our students are learning the skills they need to pursue math in college and in jobs. This is truly an exciting day for our City."

On the March 2007 New York State Math Assessments, 65.1% of elementary and middle school students scored at Levels 3 and 4. This represents a gain of 27.8 percentage points since 2002, the first year of the Bloomberg Administration. The percent of students scoring at the lowest level dropped to 10.6%, representing a 5.1 percentage point decline since 2006 and a 16.4 percentage point decline since 2002.

"This is a day to celebrate; for kids and teachers in particular, but also for all those who played a supporting role, including parents, administrators, Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg. This dramatic increase in math scores is further evidence of the importance of quality teachers being able to use a strong, consistent curriculum," said UFT President Randi Weingarten. "It takes time for students to master a new curriculum and for teachers to figure out the best way to teach it. Unlike English Language Arts, we have had a cohesive math curriculum for a number of years and we can see the difference. We also have gotten fewer complaints from teachers about being micromanaged in the classroom. If the small group instruction is playing a part here, imagine what would happen if we significantly lowered class sizes for everyone?"

"It's always a good day for school leaders and public education when we can come together and recognize achievement," said Council of School Supervisors and Administration President Ernest Logan. "We still have a long way to go, but improvement is being made, and it is the continual show of progress that is so meaningful."

More students at each grade level passed the State math exams in 2007 than in the previous year, building on gains accomplished over the course of the Administration. At the elementary school level this year, third-graders gained 6.9 points since 2006, with 82.2% of students now scoring at Levels 3 and 4; fourth-graders gained 3.2 points, with 74.1% of students now scoring at Levels 3 and 4; and fifth-graders gained 9.8 points with 71.1% of students now scoring at Levels 3 and 4. This year, gains were more substantial in the middle schools, where students typically encounter more academic challenges. The percentage of sixth-graders meeting grade standards increased by 10.5 points since 2006, to 63.2% from 52.7%; the percentage of seventh-graders increased by 11.6 points, to 55.5% from 43.9%; and the percentage of eighth-graders increased by 6.7 points, to 45.6% from 38.9%.

While students at all grade levels progressed, gains achieved by black and Hispanic students-who historically have lagged behind their white and Asian peers-were the largest. Since 2006, the percent of black students in grades three through eight scoring at Levels 3 and 4 climbed 9 percentage points to 55.4%, and the percent of Hispanic students scoring at the highest levels rose 9.3 percentage points to 59%. By comparison, the percent of white students scoring at Levels 3 and 4 climbed 5.4 percentage points to 82.7% and the percent of Asian students scoring at Levels 3 and 4 increased by 4.4 percentage points to 88.4%. Since 2002, the percent of black students meeting standards has risen to 55.4%; an increase of 29 percentage points; since 2002, the percent of Hispanic student meeting standards has risen to 59%, an increase of 29.6 percentage points. Overall, the gap among the percentage of blacks and Asian and white students meeting and exceeding standards decreased by 10.1 and 7.7 percentage points respectively since 2002. Similarly, since 2002, the gap among Hispanic, Asian and white students also decreased by 10.7 and 8.3 points respectively.

This year, City students' gains were greater than gains throughout the State. From 2005 to 2006, the City's students in grades 3 through 8 have gained 8.1 points, with 65.1% of students now meeting or exceeding standards. Students in the rest of New York State gained 6.2 points so that today, 76.8% meet or exceed standards. The percentage of City students scoring at the lowest level also continued to fall at a faster rate than the percentage of students scoring at the lowest level in the rest of the State. The percentage of City students scoring at Level 1 fell 5.1 points since 2006 to 10.6%, while the percentage of students in the rest of the State scoring at Level 1 fell 2.8 percentage points to 5.8%.

Gains by students who are still learning English also surpassed their peers this year. English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades 3 through 8 gained 9.3 percentage points since 2006, compared to 8.2 points for students who are proficient in English, and the percent of ELLs scoring at the lowest level in grades 3 through 8 dropped 8.7 points, compared to a 4.6 point decline for English proficient students in New York City.

Students with disabilities made progress as well, almost matching gains throughout the City and showing larger decreases in Level 1 than their peers. The percentage-point increase in students with disabilities scoring at Levels 3 and 4 rose by 7.9 points, compared to 8.6 points for general education students, while the percentage of special education students scoring at Level 1 fell by 10.9 points, compared to a 4.3 point decline for general education students.

See attached charts for further detail.




Stu Loeser / Dawn Walker   (212) 788-2958

Stu Loeser / Dawn Walker   (212) 788-2958

More Resources
See highlights of 2007 results (in pdf)
Watch the video in 56k or 300k