Common Core Wont Impact Test Scores In Ny State Education Board Says

03.28.14 | Sarah Harnisch

Waves of anxiety pulsed across New York last year when only one-third of elementary and middle school students hit state standards on new, Common Core-based tests in math and English.

But the state Education Department does not want to see similar results when students take the first Common Core-based high school Regents exams in algebra and English language arts this June.

Officials said at a briefing Wednesday that scoring on the new tests will be set so that roughly the same percentage of students will pass and fail as on past Regents tests.

In addition, students are eligible to also take the pre-Common Core exam and use the higher of the two scores.

“So there should be no impact with this first round of exams on those students’ ability to graduate,” said Ken Wagner, deputy commissioner for curriculum, assessment and educational technology.

The class of 2022 will be the first class that will have to take Common Core-based Regents exams and pass them with higher grades, which state Education Commissioner John King has said will be about 80 on math and 75 on English language arts.

Wagner said the Education Department has not decided whether passing grades will be gradually increased.

The second round of Common Core-based tests for grades three to eight will begin next week.

Officials said the state will use the same “cut scores” as last year, which determine where students’ results fall on a scale of 1-4.

Last year, 31 percent of students across New York got 3's and 4's on the math and English language arts tests, indicating that they were “proficient” in the subject matter.

Most students got a 2, meaning they were below proficient, or a 1, indicating that they were well below.

Officials expect this year’s results to improve because of increased familiarity with the Common Core.