New York State School Boards Association

Board Members: Expect Better Test Results This Year

FOR RELEASE:  August 26, 2013

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

As schools begin the new school year, board members across the state expect their students will perform better on next year’s grades 3-8 state assessments compared to this year, according to a recent poll by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

“With another year of implementing Common Core under their belts, school board members clearly are optimistic that students will meet the challenge before them in the coming school year,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “Last spring’s state assessments provided a baseline for how well schools are preparing their students to meet the new Common Core curriculum standards. Now we know the extent of the task ahead.”

Sixty-seven percent of school board members said they expect their district’s third- through eighth-graders to perform better on next year’s state Common Core assessments. Most schools saw a significant drop in the percentages of students demonstrating proficiency on the most recent exams after the new curriculum and tests were implemented this year for the first time. Twelve percent did not expect better performance, and 20 percent were not sure.   

“Clearly it is going to take time for everyone – educators, students and board members alike –to get fully up to speed on Common Core,” said Kremer.

Board members’ optimism about increased student performance on Common Core exams, however, is tempered by their concern about being able to provide extra help for all students that currently are not meeting the standards.

Nearly three in four board members (73 percent) said they are concerned their districts will not have sufficient resources to provide remedial instruction – known as academic intervention services – to all students who scored at the lower levels on the grades 3-8 state assessments.

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) said that funding for academic intervention services is the one area in which their districts need the most help from the state in implementing Common Core.

“The state is looking at giving schools the option of providing remediation to only the lowest-achieving students this year rather than all students,” said Kremer. “But school boards will have trouble telling parents that their children, who might not have scored lowest but still need extra support, cannot get extra help.”

Results are based on an informal NYSSBA Pulse Poll of school board members conducted in August 2013. The three-question poll drew between 618 and 629 respondents, depending on the question.


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