The test performance levels demonstrate students knowledge and skills by the New York Common Core learning standards. NYS Level 1 results demonstrate limited knowledge, while students performing at Level 2 are considered partially proficient but insufficient for the expectation at the grade level. Students performing at Level 3 demonstrate proficiency that are considered sufficient for their grade, while students performing at Level 4 have excelled at the grade level.
“Byram Hills students scored well above the overall state performance and in line with statewide trends,” says Dr. Kaltenecker. “We continue to perform in the mid-to high-90th percentile of districts across the state.”
The new tests are scored on a much harder scale than in the past, says Dr. William Donohue, Superintendent of Byram Hills Schools. “Under the old system, many of our students scored very high on the state tests, which made the tests less useful for instructional purposes.”
The students are actually learning more now than when they got higher scores, added Donohue. “Despite the frustration of a seemingly arbitrary state scoring system, the tougher scoring has the potential to help teachers better analyze students' strengths and weaknesses, and design lessons to address them.”
In 2014, New York State is in its fourth year of the 12-year Common Core phase-in. For the first time, the common core assessment results were presented as a comparison of all students who took the exam last year in 2013, along with the results presented for the same students from this year’s testing in 2014, when the students were at the next school year level. This year-to-year comparison measures student’s progress in rigorous learning standards. Students statewide made significant progress in math and slight progress in ELA assessments. Byram Hills test scores compared from 2013 to 2014 mostly reflects the progress of students statewide with the exception of the male students’ year-to-year decline of 3.3 percent on proficiency level in the ELA assessment, and the increase of 7.1 percent in the male general-education group for the math test results.
“Each year the teachers and administrators conduct a thorough analysis of the test results, in addition to local assessment data, in order to suggest areas for curricular changes,” says Kaltenecker. “Our goal is to provide rich learning experiences so every student meets the high expectations set by the state standards and our local curriculum.”