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KWIC Indicator Narrative

Student Performance in English Language Arts (ELA) - Public Schools

Data Provider: NYS Education Department

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Related Indicators:

  • Student Performance English Language Arts - Grade 3 [view data]
  • Student Performance English Language Arts - Grade 4 [view data]

Life Area:

Education

Definition:

Student skills are assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 3 through 8. 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 ELA at the elementary and middle-school levels. ELA tests are 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 Learning Standards. Student performance does not demonstrate an understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.
  • Level 2: Partially Meeting Learning Standards. Student performance demonstrates a partial understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.
  • Level 3: Meeting Learning Standards. Student performance demonstrates an understanding of the content expected in the subject and grade level.
  • Level 4: Meeting 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.

The tests are intended to help improve teaching in classrooms and focus instruction on the needs of each student.

Note:

Prior to the 1998/99 school year, Pupil Evaluation Program (PEP) tests were the primary state measures of student performance. A key difference is these current tests are not minimum competency tests and are administered to students in grades 3 through 8.

For 2010, the State Board of Regents goal is to make college-readiness the State's Proficiency standard. As a result of raising the bar for what it means to be proficient, fewer students met or exceeded the new English proficiency standards in 2014/15 than prior to the 2010 changes.

The 2016 Grade 3-8 ELA exames were different than those in past years: (1) the exames 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 four in ten (42.9%) of third grade students met or exceeded proficiency levels; a similar portion of grade 4 students (41.2%) met this level of proficiency.

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