Less than half of city students met state standards for math and reading in 2018, test scores released Wednesday show.
Citywide, 46.7% of students in grades 3-8 were proficient in reading on the annual standardized exams and 42.7% were proficient in math.
And statewide, 45.2% of all students met standards in reading and 44.5% met standards in math.
State education officials said comparisons to 2017 scores were impossible due to changes to the tests, but the data showed scores crept up slightly statewide and in the city.
Mayor de Blasio said the results show the public schools are on the right track.
“We came into office to shake the foundation of a system that neglected too many students, parents, teachers and schools,” de Blasio said. “We now have a school system that is steadily improving before our eyes.
State test scores are used by city schools in decisions to admit students and by school officials in decisions to promote students. They are also regarded as an indicator of academic performance generally.
But they are also controversial, and many educators believe them to be a poor indicator of student learning.
Statewide, 18% of families boycotted the exams in 2018, with roughly 4% of city families choosing to sit out the optional tests.
As in previous years, black and Hispanic students in the city and across the state faced achievement gaps on the tests.
And students with disabilities and English language learners also posted lower scores on the exams.
Those lower scores reflected unequal conditions in public schools in the city and across the state, Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center Education professor David Bloomfield said.
“Continuing ineffective attention to these categories of students, in particular, maintaining concentrations of low-performing students in highly segregated schools makes improvement even more of an uphill battle,” Bloomfield.
As in previous years, the city’s privately run, publicly funded charter schools outperformed traditional, district-run public schools on the tests. But critics say charters enroll fewer needy students compared to district schools.
The city’s so-called Renewal Schools, where many students struggle with academics, showed gains that kept pace with those made around the city.
City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said students’ performance on the exams gave reason for optimism, but improvements must be made.
“We have much more work to do to close opportunity gaps, and we will continue our push to deliver the equitable and excellent education that every New York City public school student deserves,” Carranza said.
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