FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE THAT NEW YORK CITY STUDENTS MADE PROGRESS IN EVERY GRADE ON STATE READING TESTS
New York City Students Make Greater Gains than Students Statewide at All Grade Levels
Black and Hispanic Students Make Greatest Gains
Mayor Shares Results with President Obama at White House Today as Part of a Discussion on Successful Education Reforms
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that New York City elementary and middle school students made substantial progress in English this year, outpacing gains in the rest of the State at every grade level. This year's progress builds on the consistent improvement that has occurred since Mayor Bloomberg was given control of the school system in 2002. Today, 68.9 percent of students in fourth grade and 57 percent of students in eighth grade-the two grades tested by the State since the start of the administration-are meeting or exceeding grade-level reading standards, up from 46.5 percent and 29.5 percent, respectively, in 2002. Black and Hispanic students achieved greater gains than their white peers, further closing the longstanding racial and ethnic achievement gap. Middle school students made double-digit gains this year-the first year of the Department of Education's Campaign for Middle School Success. In addition, English language learners and special education students matched the strong gains made by English-proficient and general education students. The Mayor discussed the test results this afternoon at the White House in a meeting with President Obama addressing successful education reforms.
"Teachers, principals, parents, and students all deserve congratulations for their hard work and impressive achievement on this year's reading test," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York City students are leading the way - outpacing gains in the rest of the State in each and every grade and closing the shameful achievement gap faster than ever. The scores are further evidence that after many years of stagnation, since 2002 we've put our schools on the right track. We've put our children first and focused on results - and all New Yorkers should be very proud of what our students and schools are achieving."
"Working together, teachers, principals, and parents have helped our students continue the great progress they have made in reading since 2002," said Chancellor Klein. "I'm especially pleased that we are closing the shameful achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and their white peers faster than ever. The strong gains achieved by our middle school students this year are also encouraging, since raising standards and improving the quality of instruction in our middle schools were among our top priorities."
"I'm thrilled that New York City students have continued to close the achievement gap that has long separated our schools from those in other parts of the state," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who also convened the Middle Schools Task Force. "I'm particularly proud of the significant gains made by middle school students this year. The Council has been working to increase the attention and resources directed to our middle schools, and these test scores provide yet another reason to redouble those efforts."
"The gains in ELA scores that we're hearing about today show that we have put a greater focus on teaching and learning - through enhanced accountability - at every level of the school system," said Council of School Supervisor and Administrators President Ernest A. Logan. "I am particularly pleased to learn about the progress we've made at the middle school level, where we have not been strong in the past. These middle school gains also suggest that we've improved our practice in elementary schools. It is extremely important that these gains not make us complacent. We have a long road ahead of us before we close the racial gap and the global gap in education."
"Today is a great day for everybody who is involved in New York City public education, and we want to congratulate all the people who work hard every day in schools - teachers, other educators, principals and their students - for the work these scores represent," said United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. "What these scores also show is that education progress can't be measured by one snapshot, but over a several-year period of time, and requires the work we've done together to attract and keep great teachers, and to fight for budgets even in fiscally bad times that make kids a priority. While we sometimes debate ensuring that teachers have a voice and the learning and teaching conditions they need to do their job, this shows that what binds us together is so much more important than what divides us."
Today, more New York City students are meeting or exceeding State standards in reading at all grade levels. The percentage of students in grades 3 to 8 meeting or exceeding reading standards rose 11.2 percentage points since last year, from 57.6 percent to 68.8 percent. The percentage has risen 18.1 points since 2006, when the State began testing grades 3 to 8.
Outpacing the State
Gains in reading by New York City students have been larger than those of students in the rest of the State-both in the past year and since 2002. In fourth grade, New York City students have closed the gap with students in the rest of the State by 11.2 points since 2002. City students scored 23.5 points below students in the rest of the State in 2002; in 2008 City students scored 15.1 points below students in the rest of the State, and in 2009 City students scored 12.3 points below students in the rest of the State. In eighth grade, City students have closed the gap by 5 points since 2002, from 22.5 points in 2002 to 19.8 points in 2008 to 17.5 points this year.
Closing the Achievement Gap
New York City students of all races made gains this year, but black and Hispanic students made the greatest gains, narrowing the racial and ethnic achievement gap. They are also closing this gap faster than they have in previous years.
In fourth grade, the gap separating black and white students in New York City has narrowed by 10.4 points since 2002 and by 4.1 points since 2008. Black students scored 32.4 points below white students in 2002; in 2008, black students scored 26.1 points below white students, and in 2009 black students scored 22 points below white students. In eighth grade, black students have closed the gap with white students by 7.3 points since 2002 and by 3.5 points since last year. Black students scored 33 points below white students in 2002; in 2008, black students scored 29.2 points below white students, and in 2009 black students scored 25.7 points below white students.
In fourth grade, the gap separating Hispanic and white students in New York City has narrowed by 9.9 points since 2002 and by 3.7 points since last year. Hispanic students scored 33.2 points below white students in 2002; in 2008, Hispanic students scored 27 points below white students, and in 2009 Hispanic students scored 23.3 points below white students. In eighth grade, Hispanic students have closed the gap by 7.5 points since 2002 and by 5.5 points since last year. Hispanic students scored 34.2 points below white students in 2002; in 2008, Hispanic students scored 32.2 points below white students, and in 2009 Hispanic students scored 26.7 points below white students.
Strong Progress in Middle Schools
Middle school students made especially strong gains in reading this year. The percentage of students in sixth grade meeting or exceeding standards rose 19.9 points, from 52.7 percent in 2008 to 72.6 percent in 2009. The percentage of seventh graders meeting or exceeding standards rose 11.4 points, from 59.5 percent to 70.9 percent. The percentage of eighth graders meeting or exceeding standards rose 14 points, from 43 percent to 57 percent. This year, the Department of Education has focused on raising academic standards and improving the quality of instruction in middle schools through a more rigorous promotion policy in eighth grade and the Campaign for Middle School Success. The Campaign is a collaborative effort, involving Deputy Chancellor Marcia Lyles, the City Council Middle School Task Force, the United Federation of Teachers, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, Borough Presidents' offices, and the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice.
ELLs Make Major Gains
The percentage of English language learners meeting or exceeding reading standards has more than tripled since 2006. A total of 34.8 percent of English language learners in grades 3 through 8 met or exceeded reading standards this year, compared to 22.6 percent last year and 10.7 percent in 2006. A total of 73.8 percent of English-proficient students met or exceeded standards this year, compared to 62.5 percent in 2008 and 53.1 percent in 2006.
The percentage of students with disabilities meeting or exceeding reading standards has more than doubled since 2006. A total of 35.3 percent of special education students met or exceeded standards this year, compared to 23.6 percent last year and 15.4 percent in 2006.
Copies of the 2009 State English Language Arts test results can be accessed at www.nyc.gov.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
David Cantor (Department of Education)
Download the 2009 english test results (in PDF)
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