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Super: Port Jefferson's Results in State Exams Can Be Improved

ELA and math assessment results released by New York State.

When it comes to meeting state Education Department academic goals, has a mixed bag of results and Superintendent Kenneth Bossert says that the school can make a "substantial improvement" in some areas.

The report revealing English and math test scores for elementary and middle school students was released by the state’s education department on July 17.

In English, third and seventh grades in Port Jefferson ranked a high of 2nd out of 62 and 59 schools respectively when compared to others in Suffolk County. The highest ranking achieved in math was 4th by fifth and eighth grades out of 63 and 68 Suffolk schools respectively.

Lowest performers were fourth graders in English, when compared to the rest of Suffolk County, coming in 27th out of 64 schools. In math, the lowest ranking was in sixth grade, making 21st out of 64 schools.

Proficiency levels for third graders improved the most, up 15 percent from the year before in English. Fourth graders dropped 13 percent from the previous year's performance in the same subject.

Math was relatively flat with seventh grade dropping the most from last year's performance, down 7 percent. Fifth grade improved by 5 percent over the year before.

"While some grade levels showed remarkable gains in both ELA and math, there are clearly areas where we feel we can show substantial improvement," said Bossert to Patch in an email.

Printable documents posted to the school website showing how Port Jefferson fared in the exams are also attached to this article, including a three-year summary of assessment, courtesy of the school district.

Bossert said that this customized report made available on the school's website for the public was created internally by school officials from data available from the New York State Education Department.

A copy of the results aggregated by New York State are also available as a PDF download in this story. The state report breaks down results from 2012 between the middle school and the elementary school.

Bossert said that there will be presentation of the results to the Board of Education and the community at the school board meeting on Oct. 9.

Parents will receive individual reports by mail, the school website reported.

See the full state report for a school-by-school breakdown, and to see how other neighboring districts performed. The analysis from 2011 is also available.

Newsday reports Long Island schools outperformed the rest of the state

Incremental gains were seen statewide, according to the state education department. The latest report shows that students scored slightly higher this year in both the English and math exams, compared with last year, and that there was a small increase in the percentage of grades 3-8 students across the state who met or exceeded the proficiency standard on both exams.

However, state education officials seem to be setting sights on bigger gains. 

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said in a statement that "too many of our students, especially students of color, English Language Learners and special education students, are currently not on a course for college and career readiness. That’s why we are continuing to press forward with critical reforms to ensure all of our kids are ready for college and careers. In the fall we will begin to phase in a new, more challenging, content rich curriculum and continue to press for the implementation of a rigorous teacher evaluation system in every district across the state."

In looking at students in grades 3-8 across the state, the education department is reporting that 55.1 percent of students met or exceeded the English proficiency standard, up from 52.8 in 2011. In addition, 64.8 percent met or exceeded the standard in math, up from 63.3 percent last year.

According to Bossert, Port Jefferson School District is committed to having its students excel at the highest level.

"Mastery level achievement remains our goal for all students and we have a long way to go to get there," he said.

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Michael Tessler August 01, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Maintaining such a large focus on data-driven exams is likely why my generation has so many problems obtaining employment, surviving in the real world and being productive members of society. We need to emphasize the importance of critical thinking and analysis rather than just this systematic regurgitation of facts.
What the August 11, 2012 at 01:05 PM
"students of color"? What century is Tirsch living in? She should've fired for being a bigot.

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