School leaders promise 'accelerated' growth from single-digit test scores – New York News

SCHENECTADY


Fewer than 6 percent of Martin Luther King Elementary students scored proficient on state math tests last year; fewer than 7 percent of Lincoln Elementary students reached that mark. 

And across the Schenectady City School District, 12 percent of students were proficient on the state math tests – down 2 percentage points from the year before – the wrong direction for a district hoping to see test scores grow by 8 percentage points.     

“I haven’t slept since the scores came out,” MLK Principal Nicki DiLeva said last week. State education officials released scores in late August. “We have a sense of urgency; we always have… None of us are happy with these scores.”

But with the first “significant” investment in new services and programs in years hitting the district this school year, school leaders and district officials have intimated the window for excuses is closing. 

“I believe every child can and will [improve]; it’s on the adults to help them do it,” said Lincoln Elementary Principal Laura Buzas.

The single-digit math proficiency scores at Lincoln and MLK – as well as at Van Corlaer and Yates elementary schools – aren’t the only troubling signs in the test results. When accounting for changes to school rosters from a shift in school boundaries, on both the math and English tests more than half of the district’s elementary schools saw overall proficiency scores decline. And a wide gap remains between the district’s best and worst performing school.

At Wednesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Larry Spring and district officials plan to present an analysis of the tests…

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