City Test Scores Rose Slightly After Second Year of Tougher Exams

By Ben Fractenberg on August 8, 2011 9:22pm 

City test scores rose slightly during the last school year.
City test scores rose slightly during the last school year.
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Flickr/COCOEN daily photos

MANHATTAN — New York City students saw a slight rise in English and math test scores over the past two years, while students across the state registered no gain, according to reports.

43.9 percent of city students passed their English exams, up from 42.4 percent last year, and 57.3 percent of city students passed math, up from 54 percent, according to a breakdown of the results released by the NYC Department of Education.

The results were hailed by the city and its critics alike, in the wake of concerns that the city was artificially driving up test scores.

"After years of stunning but ultimately misleading results, it’s good to see that New York City students have made incremental gains on these new and more reliable exams," said United Federation of Teacher's president Michael Mulgrew.  "I want to congratulate the students and the teachers on the hard work they did to get these results."

But Mulgrew added that there would plenty of challenges in the years to come.

"The DOE [Department of Education] needs to come up soon with an instructional strategy that can keep this progress going, despite the problems we are facing next year like a dramatic rise in class size and the loss of hundreds of valuable programs."

State scores, by contrast, were mixed with 52.8 percent of students passing the English exam, down from 53.2 percent last year, and 63.3 percent passing math, up only slightly from 61 percent.

The scores show student achievement after the second year of more difficult test standards.

"Despite the fact that this year's tests were harder, I'm happy to say New York City students, teachers and principals are rising to meet that challenge," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

While the scores show overall growth there was still a large achievement gap when it came to race.

Just over a third of black and Latino students passed English statewide, compared to 73 percent of white students, WNYC reported.

For school by school results, click here.

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