Students score low on state tests

ROCHESTER — Only 5 percent of students in the Rochester City School District demonstrated proficiency in math or English language arts in state assessments.

According to the results released Aug. 7, the scores for Rochester students in grades 3 to 8 were the lowest among the state’s largest school districts. In a statement, Superintendent Bolgen Vargas called the results "painfully disappointing and sadly unsurprising." He added that extended-day learning in 20 schools beginning this fall should help in improving student learning.

State Education Department officials said this year’s results should not be compared with those from previous years. This year’s exams were based on the new Common Core standards, which are designed to provide skills necessary for college and future careers.

City schools that fared better include Nathaniel Rochester School No. 23, where nearly 20 percent of sixth-grade students scored a 4 in math, which is the highest score possible, and World of Inquiry School No. 58, where a quarter of the students in fourth grade demonstrated proficiency in English language arts by scoring a 3 or higher. Students at Eugenia Maria de Hostos Charter School also fared better, with more than 60 percent of third-grade students scoring a 3 or 4 in math, although 40 percent of seventh-graders scored a 1, which is the lowest score.

"Although we did better than CSD (city school district), I am not happy," Julio Vázquez, the charter school’s chief executive officer and board president, said in an e-mail. "We have a lot work to do. These scores will be our new baseline going forward. We believe our students will be up to the challenge."

For more information about the results, visit http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs.

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