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New York State Lowers Minimum Scores for Proficiency in Math and English

New York State Lowers Minimum Scores for Proficiency in Math and English

“Last year some schools posted shocking results — in Schenectady, no eighth grader who took the math test scored as proficient.”

This is just being accepted as the new normal. Absolutely awful.

The Times Union reports:

NYS changes minimum scores for student proficiency in math, English

New York will change what it takes for students to reach “proficiency” on state math and English language arts tests, calling last year’s lower scores the “new normal.”

A scoring committee that reports to the Board of Regents said Monday that they must take into account the results of last year’s tests for students in grades three through eight to determine whether schools are showing improvement from year to year. On Thursday, the committee wanted to clarify that they must also reset scores because the tests will have new performance standards.

Last year some schools posted shocking results — in Schenectady, no eighth grader who took the math test scored as proficient. And the scores for the third through eighth grade tests throughout the state were much lower in 2022 than in 2019, a result no doubt of the absence of in-person learning during the first year and beyond of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee handles all scoring methodology, not just this year’s changes.

In setting the lowest score a student can get to reach each achievement level, teachers on the committee consider what content a student must know, the committee told the Board of Regents.

They reorganize the tests, ranking every question from easiest to hardest based on the percent of students who got it right. Then they decide how far into the test the student had to get, in terms of correct answers, to be rated a level 3, which means they are proficient.

“How much third-grade math is just enough for me to put you in proficiency,” said Technical Advisory Committee Co-Chair Marianne Perie, explaining that they decide what is borderline but “good enough.”


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The Gentle Grizzly | March 18, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Is it the tests, or the students that are out of whack?

    Neither. The system is fubar. It has completely failed the students.

    Think of Stalin’s comment that how people vote is unimportant; who ~counts~ the votes is important. Now think of tests as votes, and people who decide what grade is the pass/fail cutoff as vote counters. The analogy is exact.

    Since you can’t ask if it’s the students it must be the tests.

    It is neither. It is the schools, teachers, and administrations that are out of whack. Probably school boards as well. You can’t blame the students for what they’re not taught or can’t learn. You can’t blame the tests that have been given for generations. Changing expectations will only make it worse.

Math is racist. Studying is racist. Just sit at home and wait for your masters to tell you what to do.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to irv. | March 19, 2023 at 7:41 am

    With all the welfare and set-asides and affirmative action, they have BECOME the masters. Gibsmedat!!!

The English language is surely rayciss. Next year’s test will be divided between Ebonics and Spanish.

This is what they have to do in the name of “equity.”

But they will still have the problem that some identity groups will score worse than others. The only way to address that problem is to simply eliminate the exams, like Oregon did.

No one will be the wiser, because the colleges are also eliminating entrance exams so that they can fill their racial quotas without any objective criteria to prove their racism.

And then the medical schools and law schools are also eliminating their entrance exams, so that the preferred minority groups can skate through from kindergarten to the MD or JD degree entirely on affirmative action.

Will they be able to pass the bar exam or the medical licensing exam? If not, will these exams be eliminated as well?

BierceAmbrose | March 18, 2023 at 9:56 pm

There’s a saying among the “Agilist” software develoment clique:

“When a measure becomes a goal, it stops being useful as a measure.”

As is typical of these folks. Their cool-kid hot take isn’t wrong, just callow, substituting snark for insight. What can one expect from a generation raised on Jon Steward, but even so… I had such hopes that they’d grow out off it.

Typical leftist response: When the schools aren’t producing students capable of meeting standards, lower the standards and make excuses for it using social justice babble blaming society at large.

The proper response, of course, is to hold the schools responsible for their failure and not graduate students who do not meet the standards.

Oversoul Of Dusk | March 19, 2023 at 9:35 am

If NY lowers their standards much more, Stanford will be the only university that will take NY high school graduates.

    Sounds good. Funnel all the illiterate social justice wokesters into one univ. Makes it easier to weed them out in hiring and when seeking professional services.

    Oh, you’re from post-2020 Stanford? Yeah, we’ll be in touch.

JackinSilverSpring | March 19, 2023 at 9:39 am

Why they don’t eliminate the tests. Then no one is not at grade level. Besides, these pesky tests are so-o-o-o racists because they produce objective facts, and we can’t have that.

Sounds like the minimum wage argument is fully applicable here: if lower standards produce better results, why not lower the standards entirely and produce the best results possible?
This works even better than the minimum wage argument, because for minimum wage, there is no value you can choose that can’t be exceeded to reach a “better” value. Here, you just pick zero, and you have immediately succeeded!

Philosopher1 | March 20, 2023 at 9:43 am

In a book I wrote in 1990, published in 1991, I noted that the State of New York had been awarding state Empire State college scholarships to high-achieving high school students…and that more than 50% of the winners were male — because of males’ getting more than 50% of the very high SAT scores…so of course that was unacceptable…so the use of that standardized test was eliminated, in order to be…fair (in contemporary Wokespeak: “equitable”).
The internal destruction of a once-great nation has been proceeding for some time now. Ah, the life cycle of civilizations! Ah, the Philosophy of History!

BobInBridgeport | March 20, 2023 at 10:55 am


The FACT IS, that the STATES want our children to fail so that they will be forced to become DEPENDENT and THANKFUL voters always voting for the party that will keep their handouts coming.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to BobInBridgeport. | March 20, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    That only works until the state runs out of other people’s money. After that, everyone is equal, equally impoverished that is.

It’s such a shame that Black Americans don’t rise up & demand their children to do well in schools. If they need help or don’t know how to help with their children’s homework, they can reach out to the Boys/Girls Clubs, or “Big Brothers/Sisters”, or their local “Ys” for tutoring, I believe? Or the state can provide tutors? If not, these kids are doomed to a life of poverty & dependency or lives of crime.

Just another demonstration that our teachers’ unions and schools of education have combined to make most public schools useless—if not counterproductive. . . . except as 6-hour-a-day juvenile detention centers.

Schools of education should be forcibly closed as a menace to society. If we can’t fire all incumbent teachers and school administrators, the next best thing would be to replace the schools with minimum-security jails and employ the teachers as jailers (which is what a lot of them have to be anyway). Being behind bars with only physical labor to do might put enough fear in some kids to motivate them to listen and behave and maybe even work a little. After a few months, the relatively rare child who complains about not having any schoolwork can be sent to a charter school, Eventually, the system might have cleaned itself out enough that the process of re-creating a system of public education could begin again . . .