Last week, we announced the release of the 2014 test score results for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math proficiency rates. Since our initial blog post, we’ve had more time to look at the data in greater detail. Today we’re sharing an interactive map with the third and eighth grade proficiency rates for Westchester County school districts. We encourage you to join in on the conversation by using the comments section below.
Statewide Proficiency Rates
With the implementation of the Common Core, ELA and Math proficiency rates for students across the state had dropped significantly in 2013. This year, statewide proficiency rates improved slightly in Math from 31.2% in 2013 to 35.8% in 2014 for all grades combined. Statewide proficiency in ELA held steady, though: 31.4% of students across all grades were proficient in ELA in 2014, compared to 31.3% in 2013.
Westchester County Proficiency Rates
Countywide proficiency rates exceeded the statewide results in both ELA and Math. 39% of all Westchester students were proficient in ELA in 2014, a slight drop from 41% last year. In Math, 45% of the county’s students demonstrated proficiency this year, an improvement from the 40% proficiency rate for 2013.
While proficiency rates for Westchester County as a whole surpass the statewide rates, many of our students are still not meeting grade level standards. Significant variation between school districts’ proficiency rates reminds us that we still have work to do in making sure that all Westchester students are academically well-prepared for life.
In the map below, we’ve broken down proficiency rates by grade level (third and eighth), subject (English Language Arts and Math), school district, and year (2014 and 2013). The shading reflects 3rd Grade ELA proficiency rates for each district. Click on the green dot for a popup window with the rest of the information for that district.
Understanding English and Math Proficiency Rates
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) groups students into four levels based on their test results: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4.
Students who score at Levels 1 and 2 have not met learning standards set for their grade level by NYSED. They are considered to be “well below proficient” and “partially proficient,” respectively. While level 2 students are on track to meet graduation requirements, they are not on track to meet college- and career-readiness standards.
The proficiency rate refers to the percentage of students who score at Levels 3 and 4. These students have met or exceeded the learning standards for their grade level, and they are on track to both graduate from high school and meet aspirational college- and career-readiness standards.
A Special Note Regarding Eighth Grade Math Results
While we mentioned this in our last blog post, it’s worth repeating: a number of districts saw drastic drops in eighth grade math proficiency rates. However, for some schools we can at least partially attribute this decrease to a new waiver that allows accelerated math students to take the High School Math Regents exam instead of the Grade 8 Math exam. As a result, many of the students who would have normally scored at the highest levels of proficiency did not participate in the Grade 8 Math test at all.
Get the Data
View a summary of the 2014 Westchester County ELA and Math data here, or get all of the raw data at this page. If you’re looking for a breakdown of a school district’s results by grade, level, and subject, you might want to check out this handy tool from the Journal News.