Student scores on the South Fork tanked this year on state tests that for the first time measured proficiency in Common Core learning standards.
After predicting a decline, the State Education Department confirmed one on Wednesday when it released the results for English language arts and math assessments taken by third- to eighth-graders this spring.
Statewide, only about 31 percent of students met or exceeded the new ELA or math proficiency standards—meaning about 69 percent did not. On Long Island, the situation was only a little better: On average, about 60 percent of student scores did not meet proficiency levels.
At first blush, there are bright spots on the South Fork, although here too percentages of passing students dropped dramatically, in certain cases as much as 50 percent.
In the Quogue School District, which only goes to sixth grade, most students met the new proficiency standards across all grades and subjects, with a high of 85.7 percent passing the fourth grade ELA test, compared to 100 percent last year, when students took an easier test.
The best showing in Amagansett, which also stops after sixth grade, was a 71-percent passing rate on the third grade ELA test, compared to 83 percent last year. Westhampton Beach actually had a high of 75.6 percent meeting the new proficiency standards on the third grade math test, as opposed to a 73.5 percent who passed last year.
Among larger school districts, the highest passing rate in Hampton Bays was 37.6 percent in eighth grade English, down from 64.7 percent last year. Sag Harbor’s highest was 65.4 percent in fourth grade English, as opposed to 80.8 percent last year. In East Hampton, the highest passing rate was 47.1 percent, on the fourth grade math test, as opposed to 78.8 percent last year. In Southampton, the highest rate was 51.3 in eighth grade English, down from 65.3 percent.
“These proficiency scores do not reflect a drop in performance but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century,” State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said in a press release issued on Wednesday. “Our students face very real challenges. But it’s better to have our students challenged now—when teachers and parents are there to help—than frustrated later when they start college or try to find a job and discover they are unprepared.”