Herald Schools

State ELA and math test results released as opt-outs continue in Lynbrook, East Rockaway

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In August, the state Department of Education released the results of this spring’s English Language Arts and math exams, and there were few changes from 2016 for Lynbrook and East Rockaway students.

The Lynbrook and East Rockaway school districts each saw a slight increase in the number of third through eighth grade students taking the exams, but the state-wide opt-out movement has continued for may of them. Out of those tested, there was not much change in the percentage of them who were graded proficient.

Lisa Ruiz, the superintendent for the East Rockaway School District, said that because of the number of students opting out, the exams are not an accurate depicture of student success.

“Due to the high percentage of opt outs in our district, these scores do not provide an accurate assessment of our students’ achievements,” Ruiz said in a statement to the Herald. “The district uses various other measures, including the [Northwest Evaluation Association] Measure of Academic Progress assessment, formative assessments and curriculum-based measures, that better represent student progress and achievement.”

Ruiz added that administrators would present indicators of the district’s student success and achievement in September, when the Board of Education presents the progress of the district’s five-year strategic plan. The plan is entering its third year.

Dr. Melissa Burak, the superintendent of Lynbrook schools, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

The DOE found that statewide, the number of students taking the test who were found proficient in grades three to eight went up by 1.9 percent, while math proficiency increased to 40.2 percent.

In Nassau County, of the roughly 50,000 students who took both tests, 53 percent were found proficient in ELA, and 56 percent were found proficient in math. More students opted out of the math exam than the ELA.

According to the DOE, this year, the percentage of students opting out of the exams actually declined from 21 to 19 percent.

In 2015, the State Board of Regents approved a four-year moratorium on using the annual state tests for students in grades three to eight for teacher evaluations or student promotion, which was among the 21 recommendations that a 15-member, governor-appointed task force came up with for re-evaluating the Common Core standards. The ban will last until the 2019-20 school year.

Erik Hawkins contributed to this story.