Secrecy Surrounds New York Schools’ Failing Grades, Education Chiefs Silent

New York State’s Education Department has finally disclosed the comprehensive math and reading assessment outcomes for grades 3-8 for the academic year 2022-2023. These results, which were long overdue, paint a concerning picture.

The performance on these assessments, which some critics label as simplified, underscores a distressing reality. Statewide, merely half of the students demonstrated proficiency or higher levels of achievement — specifically, 48% in English and 52% in math.

Interestingly, it’s worth noting that only in the 8th grade did a majority of students, around 55%, exhibit proficiency in English. However, the outcomes in grades 3 through 8 were notably poorer.

These tests, administered in June, should have had results available much earlier. However, the delayed release suggests a reluctance on the part of the education authorities to reveal the stark reality to parents and stakeholders.

While this year’s results show a slight improvement compared to the previous year, where over 60% of students lacked proficiency in math, it’s important to acknowledge that the Education Department acknowledges a substantial alteration in the exam difficulty, making direct year-on-year comparisons invalid.

Unsurprisingly, schools renowned for academic excellence, like Scarsdale and East Williston, emerged as top performers. Scarsdale boasted an impressive 86% of students performing at or above grade level in reading, while East Williston in Nassau County excelled in math, with 93% meeting or surpassing expectations.

Conversely, the situation in certain districts, such as Rochester, remains disheartening, with a mere 16% demonstrating proficiency in English and a bleak 13% in math.

In a broader context, New York City’s performance among the 661 school districts was somewhat middling, ranking 178th in reading and 236th in math, with a 52% proficiency rate in both subjects.

These results shed light on the disparities in educational outcomes across the state and within specific districts, calling for a closer examination of the underlying issues affecting student performance and the effectiveness of educational strategies.