August 15, 2013 12:22 pm

New York City’s Test Scores Dropped 30%

Published by

NYC test scores dropped 30% in 2012, other cities may follow

NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says to parents of the low test scores: “it doesn’t mean that your child is doing any worse; it just means your child is now being measured to a higher standard.” (Picture from the NYC Department of Education).

Earlier this week, the Department of Education in NYC announced that standardized test scores decreased by a whopping 30% in 2012. According to the data collected from the tests, only 26% of students in NYC are proficient in English, while 30% are proficient in math. These test scores are used to determine a number of things, including teachers’ annual evaluations and whether students are held back.

Many see this as a sign that Mayor Bloomberg has failed his goal to be the self-proclaimed “education mayor,” and democratic mayoral candidates are seizing the opportunity to emphasize how their educational policies would differ from Bloomberg’s. On the other hand, Mayor Bloomberg defended his work by claiming that there is good news in these numbers–namely, that the rest of New York State is doing even more poorly on standardized tests.

There have been efforts to calm parents and students on the grounds that these scores do not necessarily reflect a huge change in students’ abilities over the past year, but rather, reflect tougher standards. New York is one of few states that is beginning to implement testing influenced by the Common Core curriculum. Kentucky, the first state to tie its testing to the Common Core curriculum, experienced a similar 30% decrease in test scores.

Other states that plan to adopt the Common Core and implement similar testing within the next few years have been warned that their scores may drop just as drastically. This leaves much room for anxiety, particularly for teachers whose job security may rely on their students’ ability to pass tougher exams.

To find out more on this news story, we invite you to read ‘Shock Doctrine‘ by Class Size Matters and Diane’s post on ‘Punishing Kids for Adult Failures.’