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Commissioner Elia and Teacher of the Year: Welcome Back to School from EngageNY on Vimeo.

Historical Information Regarding the 3-8 New York State Assessments

As students participate in the English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments in April, there has been much discussion about these exams. Unfortunately, the discussions can include incorrect information or assumptions. In an effort to make sure parents and community members have the best information, please consider the following:

•    If you were in school in New York State any time since 1966, you sat for some type of New York State assessment. Although the type of assessments has changed over time, this information has always been used as one of several measures to learn something about students and the effectiveness of district programs. Every day teachers assess whether students are learning and provide them with immediate feedback when they struggle.

•    These assessments give us a bigger picture of our learners' strengths and areas for further focus as compared to a set of standards. The standards tell us what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. It is this standard for performance that levels the field across classrooms, schools, and districts in New York State. It helps us make certain that all children have the same access to learning. It helps us provide intervention support for children when they struggle through specific information on needed skills.

•    The learning standards were first rolled out in 1995. The standards have been revised to reflect the increasing complexity of our world to help us prepare our children for their future. They were first revised in 2005 and again in 2010, and are now known by all as the common core learning standards.

The New York State assessments will likely continue to be revised to reflect the skills that students need for success in an ever-changing world. What is new is the connection that has been made between the assessments and teacher evaluations. Many educators would agree that the teacher evaluation system would benefit from modifications.

Commissioner King has a monthly email list that includes pertinent information about education in New York. All of the emails are available here. You can also join the list here.

August 2014 Update: Commissioner King's message in this edition of News and Notes discusses the grades 3-8 assessments and the continued efforts "to support and improve teaching and student learning as we work toward the goal of college and career readiness for all students." To read his message and the rest of the edition, click here.

Below are resources and links for communication surrounding the Common Core Assessments.

The videos found below, produced by EngageNY, are about the Common Core Standards and the grades 3-8 state assessments in English language arts and math.

US Education Secretary Urges NY to 'Stay the Course' from EngageNY on Vimeo.

Teaching is the Core from EngageNY on Vimeo.

Video for Parents and Families about the Common Core Assessments from EngageNY on Vimeo.

Related Files

    pdf pdf file: You need Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 5 or higher) to view this file. Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader for PC or Macintosh.
    doc doc file: You need the Microsoft Word application to view this file, or a program that can import Word files. To learn more about this software before purchasing it, visit the Microsoft Word website.

Related Links
  • Engage NY
    An informational website created and maintained by the New York State Education Department. Valuable information and family resources regarding education and the Common Core Standards are available through Engage NY.