State: Students struggle with Common Core

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The superintendent said that on a normal year, the district would use test results to place students in academic intervention services, or extra help. Students receiving ones or twos were automatically placed in AIS in past years. (Three is deemed passing, and four is considered meeting the standards with distinction.)

This year, however, DeTomasso said the state has given districts leeway when assigning students to AIS. Simply because a student received a one or two does not mean that he or she will be placed in AIS. School officials will examine the student’s academic record over the previous four quarters, as well as this year’s final exam results, to paint a complete picture of the pupil’s academic strengths and progress. If the student has demonstrated academic success throughout the year, he or she may not receive AIS services. Guidance counselors will sort through the data to make such determinations.

DeTommaso said that Bellmore-Merrick teachers were trained in the new Common Core standards last summer. Future professional development classes, he said, would delve deeper into the new standards.

The superintendent added that parents could expect to receive their children’s individual test score reports from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in mid-September.

In the Bellmore School District

While passing rates on state exams given to students in grades three to six in the Bellmore School District dropped 20 to 30 percent per exam this year, district officials said that the state Education Department had warned of the decline.

Dr. Joseph Famularo, the district superintendent, said King told educators across the state that districts should be prepared for at least a 30 percent drop in scores before the newly developed state assessments were given. In Bellmore, there was more than a 30 percent drop in the passing rate overall.

But Famularo noted that the passing rates of students tested at the Winthrop Avenue and Shore Road schools exceeded Nassau County and New York state averages.
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