Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent Tim Mains addressed the release of the April 2013 NYS Grades 3-8 Assessment results at a press conference today. The results, released by State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr., were the first assessments to measure Common Core Learning Standards that were adopted by the State Board of Regents.
Mains said that, as expected, the percentage of students deemed proficient is significantly lower than in 2011-12. This change in scores, which will effectively create a new baseline of student learning, is largely the result of the shift in the assessments to measure the Common Core Learning Standards, which more accurately reflect students’ progress toward college and career readiness.
Mains explained that this year’s assessments were designed to measure learning differently than in prior years. They are meant to be a better, more accurate tool for educators, students and parents as they work together to address the rigorous demands of the Common Core Standards. He emphasized that the results do not reflect a decrease in performance and should not be used to evaluate students, teachers or schools.
“The assessments released yesterday tell us what challenges lie ahead. We have a lot of work ahead of us but they do give us a new benchmark. We will use this information to inform and refocus instructional delivery to address the new Common Core Learning Standards. We must maintain high standards and expectations ensuring all of our students are prepared for college and careers,” said Superintendent Mains.
District teachers and leaders have been studying the Common Core Standards since their release, and have begun to align instruction to the more rigorous expectations of learning. Beginning this September, Jamestown teachers will pilot the curriculum modules recently released by the New York State Education Department. The district will continue to provide professional development to support teachers in aligning instruction to more rigorous standards of learning.
“We were prepared for lower scores knowing that this is a new benchmark year but we still had hoped to do better. We understand this is our new baseline and know where we have to go,” said Persell Middle School Principal Phil Cammarata. “Our building goals will align with these new benchmarks and the Common Core Standards. As principal, if I want to see improvement, I need to be in the classrooms much more to support teachers with professional development, resources and feedback on instruction so that as a team, we can work towards meeting the rigorous, but necessary, expectations of the Common Core Learning Standards and to prepare our students to be college and career ready.”
Summaries of the test results, as well as individual school and district results, click here.