SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – As students in Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Irvington prepare to take state assessments this week, school officials warn scores could drop because of newer standards.
Students in grades three through eight will take the state tests in English-language arts and math, with the ELA test taking place from Tuesday through Thursday. The math assessment will be given on April 24-26.
The assessments are based on the new Common Core Standards, which means the tests will be more challenging, State Education Commissioner John King said.
“The number of students meeting or exceeding Common Core grade-level expectations should not be interpreted as a decline in student learning or a decline in educator performance,” he said. “The results from these new assessments will give educators, parents, policymakers, and the public a more realistic picture of where students are on their path to being well-prepared for the world that awaits them after they graduate from high school.”
The Common Core Standards have been adopted in 44 other states, in addition to New York. Officials say the standards are designed to get students ready to succeed after school, whether in college, a job or both. The standards “requires schools and students to drill deeper into key topics, instead of briskly covering many topics.”
“They aim to push students to develop critical thinking skills in a real world context,” according a FAQ from the New York State Education Department. “They require instruction in each grade to build more deliberately than in the past upon skills learned in the grade before.”
Tarrytown Superintendent Howard Smith says the best advice for parents in preparing for the test is to not let it dominate family life.
“The best thing they can do is make sure their children get plenty of rest, maybe treat them to their favorite breakfast, and send them off to school with the message that all we care about is that they try their best,” he said.
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