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Scores Remain Low, But City Students Make Progress on Standardized Exams

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TWC News: Scores Remain Low, But City Students Make Progress on Standardized Exams
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Standardized exam scores are out for the state's second year testing students based on the more difficult Common Core standards, and while scores are still very low overall, city students made notable progress. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

English and math test scores are up slightly, but still significantly, in the city for elementary- and middle-school students.

"It's a good day for the whole New York City school system," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Still, the percentage of students who passed the standardized exams is very low. That's because last year, the state began testing students based on much more challenging material, tied to the Common Core learning standards being adopted by most states across the country.

The percentage of city students proficient in math jumped to 34.5 from 30.1. In English, 29.4 percent scored proficient, up from 27.4 percent last year.

"I do think this is wonderful news," said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. "I think it could be a lot better and will be, and I promise you that."

While the mayor and chancellor celebrated the gains, they reiterated that their administration will move the city away from relying on test scores to make big decisions.

"I'll say that when the test scores are good and I'll say it when they're aren't so good. They're only one measure," de Blasio said.

The mayor noted that these scores represent a school year that he shares responsibility for with his predecessor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was known for placing a high value on test score-based accountability.

"We want to give credit, the credit that's due to the previous administration, for their part of the equation. That's only fair and right," de Blasio said.

Indeed, over the past few years, the city has almost closed the gap that has traditionally existed between scores here and the rest of the state. In 2006, the city was nearly 9 percentage points behind the state in math and nearly 11 percentage points behind in English. Now, city scores are a little more than 1 percentage point behind in math and 2 percentage points behind in English.

De Blasio spoke at the Brooklyn Brownstone School, which saw double-digit gains, but another set of schools seeing results is Success Academy Charter Schools, which waged, and won, a high-profile battle with the mayor over real estate.

"Look, I'm happy when any of our schools do well," de Blasio said.

Students and parents can see individual test scores in the last week of August.

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