School District State Test Results Are In
By Bob Zahm
Two months later than in previous years, but in just as much detail, the NY State Education Department (NYSED) has reported the results of last spring’s English Language Arts (ELA) and Math standardized tests for all New York State school districts. Running ahead of schedule, the Rye City School District provided its take on the test results in its “School Report Card”. The presentation of the Report Card can be seen in the School Board’s October 23 meeting on RyeTV. Rye Neck has not yet scheduled public feedback on its performance.
Here is a quick summary: Compared to all Westchester County districts Rye City schools ranked 6th in the ELA, up from 11th place last year, and 7th in Math, the same as in 2017. Rye Neck’s ELA performance improved from 18th to 17th, but Math dropped from 15th to 18th. As in previous years, the rankings reflect the percentage of students achieving a passing grade and not actual test scores.
The NYSED asserts that changes to the tests and testing approach make the actual test results incomparable to previous years’ results. However, the relative performance comparison continues to provide insight as to which districts are “top performers” in Westchester County.
So, which are the top-performing districts and how did they do? Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Bronxville, and Edgemont are the top four as in the past few years. Irvington and Katonah-Lewisboro fell from the positions as last year’s number 5 in the ELA and Math to be replaced, respectively, by Byram Hills and Blind Brook. No meaningful feedback on the source of performance differences of Rye and Rye Neck versus the top 5 districts has been provided.
Overall, absolute performance continued to improve across the top 20 school districts in both the ELA and Math. For the ELA, the top 20 Westchester school districts passing rate moved from 67.6% to 72.2%. For math, the passing rate moved up from 72.8% to 75.9%.
What about the “opt out rate”, the number of students who could have taken the tests but opted not to? Rye Neck’s opt out rates dropped. For the ELA from 27.1% to 17%. For Math, from 25.8% in 2017 to 22.5% in 2018.
Rye City schools ELA opt out rate dipped slightly from 12.1% to 11.8%. Its Math opt out rate rose slightly from 12.1% to 13.3%. Both districts’ opt out rates are higher than the highest five performing districts which had an average of 7.3% for the ELA and 8.1% for the Math test.
In summation, Rye City showed steady to slightly improving result. For Rye Neck, a mixed performance with a clear opportunity to improve.
*1-5 rank in green; 6-10 rank in yellow; all others uncolored.