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Yonkers' Students In Grades 3-8 Score Below State Average

The majority of Yonkers students scored much lower than the state average.
The majority of Yonkers students scored much lower than the state average. Photo Credit: Yonkers City School District

YONKERS, N.Y. – The percentage of students considered proficient in math and English language arts for grades three to eight was significantly lower throughout New York State, and even lower in Yonkers, the state Department of Education announced Wednesday.

Yonkers Public Schools incurred a significant drop in proficiency levels as measured by the new assessments, with 16.4 percent of students reaching proficiency in ELA and 14.5 percent in math. But Yonkers maintained the highest levels of proficiency among Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, the other members of the state's Big Four City School Districts.

"The scores define a new baseline to measure achievement and reflect the marked increase in rigor of the Common Core and the recent integration of these standards into the curriculum," said Yonkers Schools Superintendent Bernard P. Pierorazio in a statement. "We are clearly not satisfied with the results but advocate for the standard’s increased expectations and the transition to a more accurate understanding of true college and career readiness."

Additionally, according to the state’s assessment, given to students in third- to eighth-grade, 41 percent of Westchester students were at grade level in ELA and 40 percent of county students were at grade level in math.

The state results for Yonkers and Westchester schools showed the following percentages:

  • Grade Three – 16.9 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 16.8 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 40.6 percent for ELA and 41.2 percent for math.
  • Grade Four – 16.8 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 21.1 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 41.6 percent for ELA and 46.1 percent for math.
  • Grade Five – 15.8 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 14.6 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 41 percent for ELA and 39.4 percent for math.
  • Grade Six – 15.7 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 17 percent in math. The Westchester County average was 46.6 percent for ELA and 40.6 percent for math.
  • Grade Seven – 18.2 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 9.2 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 41.1 percent for ELA and 37.3 percent for math.
  • Grade Eight – 14.8 percent of students met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in ELA, and 8.1 percent met or exceeded proficiency for their grade in math. The Westchester County average was 44.2 percent for ELA and 37 percent for math.

Statewide results for New York students in grades three to eight showed that 31.1 percent of students in grade three to eight met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard, and  31 percent met or exceeded the math proficiency standard.

The lower results do not reflect a decrease in performance for schools or students, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness, according to state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.

"I understand these scores are sobering for parents, teachers, and principals. It's frustrating to see our children struggle,” King said in the release accompanying the test resuslts.  “But we can't allow ourselves to be paralyzed by frustration; we must be energized by this opportunity. The results we've announced today are not a critique of past efforts; they're a new starting point on a roadmap to future success.”

The state said it does not intend to identify any new “Focus Districts” or “Priority schools” based on the 2012-13 assessment results.

See the complete report at the state Education Department website here.

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