This spring, our students in grades 3-8 will again take assessments aligned to the state’s new learning standards. The 2019 testing will be scheduled over two consecutive days on the following dates:
New York State grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) exam: April 2-5, 2019
New York State grades 3-8 math exam: May 1-3, 2019
Over the course of the past few years, the New York State Education Department has made adjustments to the tests in response to concerns from parents and educators about the state exams.
Some of those changes affect the testing experience for students. For example, there are fewer questions on the tests and students are now allowed as much time as they need to complete the tests within the regular school day.
Other changes are related to test development and administration, as well the use of the test results. According to state officials, more New York educators now participate in developing the tests. In addition, state lawmakers approved a bill in January that separates teacher/principal evaluations and grades 3-8 state ELA and math test scores. As part of the revised legislation, any use of state assessments for teacher or principal evaluations would be part of district collective bargaining agreements. The bill is expected to be signed by the governor and become law later this year.
Many districts, including Middleburgh, have also begun piloting computer-based testing for the grades 3-8 ELA/math exams in anticipation of the state’s plan to offer all assessments via computer in the near future. State leaders maintain that computer-based testing will lead to reduced testing time and faster results. Grades 4-8 will utilize computer-based testing for the ELA exam, along with grade 5 utilizing it for the math exam.
As this year’s assessment dates approach, please keep in mind that no single test provides a complete picture of your child’s abilities. When combined with grades, classroom activities, and unit quizzes and tests, annual assessments can provide important information about a student’s academic growth. State assessments also provide valuable information about the performance of our schools and the district as a whole. However, it is important to note that state test results do not affect student grades or promotion.
As always, we encourage our students to do their best on all learning opportunities they participate in at school. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
Brian P. Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
2019 Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Math State Exams: 7 Things Families Should Know
2019 TESTING SCHEDULE
Districts can administer grades 3-8 English Language Arts and math state exams on any two consecutive days during the designated testing dates in April and May. The dates for testing in Middleburgh are:
- New York State grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) exam: April 2-5, 2019
- New York State grades 3-8 math exam: May 1-3, 2019
1. Each test will take place over two days.
The ELA and math exams will each be given to students over a two-day period. Students also will be able to take as much time as they need to complete the tests, as long as they are working productively.
2. Students will respond to a variety of question types.
Students will read short passages and answer multiple choice questions on the ELA exam. They will also provide textual evidence to explain their answers, and write an essay. Students taking the math exam will answer multiple-choice questions, and show their work on more complex, multi-step
3. State test results alone don’t determine promotions or placements.
The state prohibits districts from making student promotion/placement decisions solely based on state test scores.
4. Teachers will not be evaluated based on student test scores.
State lawmakers approved a bill in January that separates teacher/principal evaluations and grades 3-8 state ELA and math test scores. As part of the revised legislation, any use of state assessments for teacher or principal evaluations would be part of district collective bargaining agreements. The bill is expected to be signed by the governor and become law later this year.
5. Resources will be available after the exams.
The state will provide score reports to help parents understand how their child is doing in ELA and math. State officials will release some test questions before the school year ends to help teachers inform instruction and improve student learning. Last June, 75 percent of the questions were released.
6. Test questions will be written by local educators.
This is the second year that test questions on the ELA and math exams will be written by New York state teachers.
7. Students in some districts will take tests on computers.
Some school districts are participating in computer-based testing this spring. In those districts some students will take exams on computers instead of using paper and pencil. SED is working with districts so that all grades 3-8 testing will be delivered on computers in the near future.