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Ossining School Test Scores Fall Behind County

OSSINING, N.Y. – Students in the Ossining School District scored lower on average than students throughout Westchester County, according to recently-released test score data from the New York State Education Department.

The results were encouraging but could also be improved, said Ossining Superintendent of Schools Phyllis Glassman.

"We're very pleased that we're considered in good standing with the state in our district at every one of our schools," Glassman said Wednesday, adding that the improvements came across all grades and ethnic backgrounds. "Unless we have 101 percent of our students exceeding all levels, we will never be satisfied in the Ossining School District. We need improvements in a number of areas and we will continue to analyze our data and find new ways of improving."

The mean scores were largely above state standards but lagged behind the county from third-grade through eighth-grade in both English and math. Test scores are divided into four levels: level one scores indicate a student's score is below standards. Level two scores mean students meet basic standards. Level three scores mean students have met proficiency standards. Level four students have exceeded proficiency standards.

More than 50 percent of students in the Ossining School District met or exceeded proficiency standards in both subjects across all grades.

Glassman pointed to other measures of success within the school district.

"We have succeeded well beyond the standardized test scores and are very proud of other measures of achievement," she said, referring to the district being named one of Intel's Schools of Distinction, science awards and other achievements in the last year. "We certainly are accountable for our standardized test scores but we have students who are continuing to be successful in many ventures."

According to the state, 55.1 percent of all students in grades three through eight met or exceeded proficiency standards in English language arts (ELA) and 64.8 percent of all students in grades three through eight met or exceeded proficiency standards in math.

“We’re building a ladder, grade by grade, to college and career readiness," Commissioner John B. King Jr. said in a press release . "These results are a small, positive sign of growth, but not enough of our students are climbing as steadily as they should be. Next school year, we start to implement reforms to make that ladder strong enough to support all our students as they climb toward college and career readiness.”

King added that the State Education Department and school districts have been working throughout the year to prepare for implementation of the Regents Reform Agenda. Next year, new college and career ready standards will be introduced and a rigorous new fair and transparent teacher and principal evaluation system will start to be implemented, according the release.

There are positive signs in the numbers but there many negative signs, said Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch in the release.

“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,” Tisch said in the release. “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."

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