New York students have been measured against the Common Core Learning Standards for the first time, and they performed significantly worse on standardized tests under the new standards than against the old.
In Rochester, only 5 percent of City School District Students either met or exceeded the new standards for mastery of English and math. That was the worst of the big 5 cities.
State Education Commissioner John King said this was expected, and sets a new baseline for measuring student progress in the future. He also said they're consistent SAT and PSAT scores by New York high school students.
Rochester School Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said he’s not surprised at the poor showing his students made when tested against the tougher standards. Doctor Vargas said that’s because the district is organized to deliver that rate of performance. He said his job is to make sure that culture changes starting with the upcoming school year.
The tests given to 3rd graders and 8th graders statewide showed 31 percent of students met or exceeded the English language proficiency standard, and 31 percent the new math standard.
New York City students did the best of all the big city districts in the state, with 26 percent meeting the English standard and 30 percent meeting or exceeding the math standard. In Buffalo the numbers were 11 percent and 9 percent
Dr. Vargas said the main issue in pulling up student performance for Rochester is the one he’s been talking about for months: more classroom instruction time. Vargas said Rochester consistently underperforms because it offers the least instruction time in Monroe County. Vargas said his job is to move the city from last to near first on instruction time. He said that means changing the entire culture of the district.
Doctor Vargas invited people to check the school calendar this fall and see if he delivers more classroom hours and more support for students and teachers, and to hold him accountable.