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Related Indicators:

Life Area:

Education

Definition:

New York State has instituted new higher standards for all students in mathematics. The number reported is the number of students scoring at or above proficiency. The percent reported is the number of students meeting proficiency divided by the number of student tested, multiplied by 100.

Significance:

Assessments are offered in mathematics at the elementary and middle-school levels. Mathematics is one of the three areas used to determine accountability for schools and districts. The assessments are based on state learning standards. Raw scores for these assessments are converted to four performance levels:

  • Level 1: Not Meeting the Learning Standard. Student performance does not demonstrate an understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.
  • Level 2: Partially Meeting the Learning Standard. Student performance demonstrates a partial understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.
  • Level 3: Meeting the Learning Standard. Student performance demonstrates an understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.
  • Level 4: Meeting the Learning Standards with Distinction. Student performance demonstrates a thorough understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.

Students are considered to be proficient if they are achieving at a level 3 or 4.

Note:

Prior to the 1998/99 school year, Pupil Evaluation Program (PEP) tests were the primary measures of student performance. A key difference is that these tests are not minimum competency tests and are administered to students in all grades 3-8. They are more challenging and require students to write extended responses to questions. The tests are intended to help improve teaching in classrooms and focus instruction on the needs of each student.

Beginning in 2010, the State Board of Regents redefined the ELA and Mathematics proficiency standards. Higher cut scores were set as new standards to be aligned with the goal to ensure that all students graduate high school college-and-career-ready. As a result of raising the bar for what it means to be proficient, fewer students met or exceeded the new Math proficiency standards in 2014/15 than in previous years.

The 2017 Grade 8 Mathematics exams were different than those in past years: (1) the exams had fewer questions for every grade and (2) students who were working productively were allowed to complete their exams in an effort to reduce test-day stress for students.

Findings:

Approximately one in five grade 8 students (21.6%) scored at or above the level of proficiency. 

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