Schenectady school district officials expect a majority of its elementary schools and all three of its middle schools will see improving results on annual state math and English language arts tests.
But it’s not clear how much the test scores improved since the state test results have not been released in full yet.
Previewing the state test results Wednesday during an end-of-year academic report, district officials said based on preliminary data provided to the district they expect test results to improve in most of the district’s schools. The results on both the math and ELA tests at all three of the middle schools – Oneida, Mont Pleasant and Central Park – are expected to improve, according to the academic report.
“It isn’t the kind of thing where we are jumping up and down and celebrating, but we are moving in the right direction,” Aaron Bochniak, district director of planning and accountability, told the school board during its meeting.
While the test results are embargoed – with state officials promising their public release by the end of the month – districts have had a chance to analyze some of the results. Bochniak said he was able to project whether schools would improve or regress based on the data that has been released to the district.
The most widespread improvement appeared on the ELA tests. On the ELA tests, seven of the district’s 11 elementary schools are expected to improve their state tests scores, according to academic report. Three elementary schools – Howe, Keane, and Yates – expect to see their scores go down, while Lincoln’s scores should remain flat.
On the math tests, five elementary schools expect to see results improve, four expect to see the results decline and two expect to see the results remain relatively the same, according to the district’s projections.
The math results, particularly at the middle schools, however, improved from a low baseline. Just 5 percent of Mont Pleasant Middle School students during the 2016-2017 school year scored proficient on the state math tests. At Oneida, 8 percent of students scored proficient in the 2016-2017 school year, while 11 percent of Central Park students scored proficient in math that year.
“Math has been an area where we have struggled on, it’s an area where we need to improve,” Bochniak said.
While the middle schools expect improving test results in math and ELA, results from an eighth grade science exam raised concerns. Scores fell at all three middle schools: dropping from 32 percent proficient to 19 percent proficient at Central Park; from 22 percent proficient to 9 percent proficient at Mont Pleasant; and from 37 percent proficient to 34 percent proficient at Oneida. Bochniak called it eighth grade science “absolutely an area or priority.”
The report also highlighted mixed results on state Regents exams – some of which students must pass in order to graduate. Just over 56 percent of high school juniors passed the ELA Regents exam, down from nearly 72 percent of students the year before, leaving more than 100 students in the senior class who still need to pass the exam before graduation. High school administrators said they plan to provide the students who have not passed the exam with more focused attention this fall in hopes of getting them to pass the exam in January.
While results jumped in geometry, they fell slightly in Algebra I. Global History and U.S. History results remained relatively flat, while the living environment test results dropped slightly and the earth science results showed strong improvement.