Reading and Math Scores Mixed in New York; Number of Students with Disabilities Taking Statewide Tes


As discussed in a prior post, the U.S. Department of Education ("DOE") performs an annual review of States, as mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, to determine how well they are meeting the needs of their Students with Disabilities.

The DOE evaluates States using various criteria and then assigns a score from 0-2, with 0 being lowest and 2 being the highest score ("DOE score"). The 2016 report is based on the 2014-2015 school year and the 2015 report was based on the 2013-2014 school year. New York had mixed results.

75% of 4th grade children with disabilities participated in regular statewide assessments in Reading, a decrease of 11 points from the prior year. 93% of these students participated in the National Assessment of Education Progress ("NAEP") and 26% (a DOE Score of "1") of them scored at Basic or Above, unchanged from the prior year. This was slightly above the National Average. 68% of 8th grade children with disabilities participated in regular statewide assessments of Reading, a decrease of 16 points. 93% of these students participated in the NAEP and 39% (a score of "2") scored at Basic or Above on the NAEP, a decrease of 1 percentage point. This was above the National Average.

73% of 4th grade children with disabilities participated in regular statewide assessments in Math, a decrease of 11 percentage points from the prior year. 94% of these students participated in the NAEP and 47% (a score of "1") of them scored at a Basic or Above, a decrease of 7 percentage points compared with the prior year. This was slightly below the National Average. 63% of 8th grade children with disabilities participated in regular statewide assessments in Math, a decrease of 17 points. 96% of these students participated in the NAEP and 34% (a score of "2") scored at a Basic or Above on the NAEP, an increase of 5 points from the previous year. This was above the National Average.

There has been a significant increase in the number of children with disabilities being excluded from statewide assessments.

Numbers of NYC students with disabilities being excluded from statewide assessments could not be found, therefore the NYS statistics will be used for this post. The NYS Education Department ("NYSED") was able to point to 2015 Statewide Scores showing Slight Proficiency Gains for ELA and Math. The NYSED said that "in math, the percentage of all test takers in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4) increased by seven points in two years to 38.1 in 2015 from 36.2 in 2014 and 31.1 in 2013." Interestingly, "of the students with disabilities, nearly 7 percent scored a 3 or 4 on English and 11 percent on math, down slightly from last year [2014]."

There are some interesting facts to note for New York City. The average score for NYC students taking the 4th grade Math exam decreased 5 points; the average for Students with Disabilities decreased 3 points, even with the 11% decrease in Students with Disabilities actually taking the test. NYC students as a whole was able to eke out a gain of 2 points in 8th grade Math while Students with Disabilities showed no improvement, even with the 17% decrease in Students with Disabilities actually taking the test. 4th grade Reading saw a decrease of 2 points for both categories of students (with the 11% decrease in Students with Disabilities actually taking the test) while 8th grade Reading showed 1 point and 2 point increases for "all students" and Students with Disabilities respectively, even with the 16% decrease in Students with Disabilities actually taking the test.

As you can see, any incremental improvement in statewide testing for Students with Disabilities must be taken with a pound of salt!


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