The state released the yearly standardized test results for students in third through eighth grades Monday, and while test scores in the city went up slightly in both English and math, many students didn't pass at all. NY1’s Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
Results of this year's state English and math exams show a slight improvement for kids in the city, but the percent of students passing is still very low.
On the English exam, 43.9 percent of city students scored proficient, up from 42.4 percent last year. On the math exam, 57.3 percent passed, up from 54 percent.
Passing the tests has been tougher for the past two years after state officials admitted the scores were inflated. In 2009, the state said 82 percent of city students were proficient in math and nearly 70 percent in English.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that he doesn't put too much stock in proficiency rates since the bar has changed. He said he focuses on how city schools perform compared to schools statewide.
In fact, while gains in the city were modest, they were greater than the state's as a whole.
“The only measure we have is against the rest of the state, and it does seem like they are doing exactly what we are asking them to,” said Bloomberg.
State officials say they've been trying to improve the exams, not just by raising the passing bar but by covering more material and including more essays.
City officials say that's why the percent of students scoring the highest level — level 4 — dropped 63 percent since last year.
Of course, there are always questions about how accurate the tests are and several cities have recently had major cheating scandals exposed, from Atlanta to DC to Philadelphia.
New York State officials announced last week that they’re doing a major review of the measures they have in place to combat cheating, but the mayor said he doesn't think the city has a problem.
“Whenever you have a large number of people, there is always somebody trying to scam the system. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence or even allegations of widespread cheating,” said Bloomberg.
While the gains may be modest, city officials say they're just relieved the scores went up.