Roslyn finds improvement on state exams

Bill San Antonio

The percentage of Roslyn’s elementary and middle school students who passed state assessment exams in 2014-15 nearly doubled statewide averages and improved significantly on the district’s performance in 2013-14, according to district data.

Nearly 60 percent of Roslyn students in each grade level (third through eighth) who took the English Language Arts assessment passed, eclipsing state rates that hovered around 30 percent passing for each grade, while more than 67 percent of students in third through seventh grade who took the state mathematics exams passed, which ranged from 35 percent passing (seventh grade) to 43 percent (fourth, fifth grades) throughout the state. 

“We are doing a lot of hard work, but good work, to have our curriculum and teach closer to the Common Core standards,” Deputy School Superintendent Alison Brown said Tuesday. “What we’re finding is that when we align ourselves to the goals for what each kid needs to accomplish, things will fall into place.”

A Powerpoint presentation analyzing student performance on the state assessments, advanced-placement and regents exams is available on the district’s website.

Brown said the district also saw improved scoring percentages among students as they moved on to higher grade levels.

In 2013-14, Roslyn’s lowest performing grade levels on the ELA exam were fifth and sixth grades, with 44 percent of students passing, while 59 percent of sixth graders and 62 percent of seventh graders who took the exam this past year passed.

Roslyn third graders who took the ELA exam in 2013-14 passed at a 49 percent rate, which jumped to 63 percent among 4th graders who took the exam in 2014-15.

“The kids showed growth on the assessments. The grade levels show an increase,” Brown said. “That’s how we’re looking at it. We feel if a student comes and decides to sit for that test, it’s our job that when they open that booklet, they’re ready and confident to do it.”

Though 33 percent of Roslyn students eligible to sit for the exams opted out of taking them, Brown said district administration does not believe there is a correlation between student performance on state assessments and that of regents or advanced-placement exams.

In fact, more Roslyn students (442) took at least one of the 22 AP courses offered in the district than ever before, up from 412 students in 2013-14 and 392 in 2012-13.

The district administered 1,182 AP exams altogether.

Roslyn saw 60 more students take the advanced-placement English exam in 2014-15 than in 2013-14 — the highest increase of any individual AP class — with a 3.89 average score.

“We really wanted to emphasize that the number of kids that are taking challenging courses like these are increased significantly,” Brown said. “It’s something we’re most proud of, that they can do it, and we’re going to support them throughout the process of these courses.”

While 64 percent of Roslyn students who took the state regents exam in physics in 2014-15 passed, down from 82 percent in 2013-14, Roslyn students performed at similar levels from year to year on the other regents exams. 

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