COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION ELIA COMMENTS ON 2016 ASSESSMENT RESULTS JUST IN.

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the NY State Commissioner of Education. July 30, 2016:

The State Education Department today released the results of the 2016 Grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and math tests.

In ELA this year, the percentage of  students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4) increased by 6.6 percentage points to 37.9, up from 31.3 in 2015. In math, the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level increased this year to 39.1, up one percentage point from 38.1 in 2015.

(Editor’s Note: In the White Plains City School District, 38% of Grades 3 to 8 students passed the English Language Arts Assessment, the state average, while 35% of White Plains 3-to-8-ers passed the Math Assessment, compared to an average of 39% passing Math Assessment across the state. Though the state says you cannot compare the 2016 test results to 2015 test results; the White Plains ELA passing rate was up about 40% (38% to 30%)

 

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Statewide Combined Grades ELA

31.3

37.9

6.6

Statewide Combined Grades Math

38.1

39.1

1

 

 

2016314schools 025

Commissioner of Education Maryellen Elia appearing in White Plains High School this spring.

“The Regents and I are committed to continuously improving our standards, our curriculum and our assessments,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “Since my first day on the job a little over a year ago, I’ve been listening to parents, teachers, school administrators and the public – seeking their expertise on how we can improve. We’ve taken their advice and made important changes to the exams. It’s an ongoing process, but better standards, better curriculum and better tests will result in better student outcomes.”

“The Regents, Commissioner and I have worked hard to make New York’s assessments the best they can be for our students,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “I’ve always said that tests must be diagnostic, valid and reliable while providing timely and practical information to parents and teachers. We made important changes to the assessments this year and we’re going to continue to look at ways to make them even better moving forward. While it’s not possible to make direct comparisons of this year’s results to past years, I’m cautiously optimistic the changes we’re making will drive improvements in teaching and learning.”

2016 Results

SED made several changes to the 2016 ELA and math exams through a deliberate process. These changes included: starting with a new test vendor with a contract that required greater teacher involvement; reducing the number of questions on every grade 3-8 ELA and math assessments; and allowing students who are productively working to complete their exams.

In addition, SED released more test questions than ever before and earlier than ever before to support instruction. Further, when parents receive their child’s school reports later this summer, they will see that they are easier to understand and provide more information on how their child performed.

This year’s changes to the tests are part of a multi-year process that started with the Board of Regents’ Test Improvement Report in June 2015 and then solicited feedback from parents, teachers, administrators and students. The process included making recommendations(link is external) as part of Governor’s Task Force and presenting the final changes to the Board of Regents in December 2015. SED implemented the changes in time for the spring 2016 exams.

While the content of the 2016 tests and last year’s tests are comparable and similarly rigorous, it is not possible to make direct comparisons of the 2016 results to prior years’ results because of changes to the tests this year. The 2016 results are valid and reliable indicators of student proficiency in the tested grades and subjects.

Big 5 City School Districts

In ELA this year, the percentage of all test takers in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level increased over last year in each of the Big 5 City School Districts. New York City’s proficiency increased by 7.6 percentage points to 38 percent. For the first time, New York City now meets the rest of the state in proficiency in English Language Arts

In the other Big 5 cities, student proficiency increased over last year as follows: Buffalo increased by 4.5 percentage points; Rochester increased by 2 percentage points; Syracuse increased by 2.8 percentage points; and Yonkers increased by 5.7 percentage points.

 

% of Students Proficient  in ELA Across All Grades, 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

NYC

30.4

38

7.6

Buffalo

11.9

16.4

4.5

Rochester

4.7

6.7

2

Syracuse

8.1

10.9

2.8

Yonkers

20.3

26

5.7

 

In math, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level increased slightly over last year in most of the Big 5 City School Districts. New York City’s proficiency increased by 1.2 percentage points; Buffalo increased by 1 percentage point; Rochester’s proficiency declined by 0.2 percentage points; Syracuse increased by 1 percentage point; and Yonkers increased by 0.6 percentage points.

 

% of Students Proficient in Math Across All Grades 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

NYC

35.2

36.4

1.2

Buffalo

15.1

16.1

1

Rochester

7.4

7.2

-0.2

Syracuse

9.4

10.4

1

Yonkers

24

24.6

0.6

 

Black and Hispanic Students

In 2016, ELA proficiency across all grades for black and Hispanic students increased over last year, with increases seen both statewide and in New York City. Statewide, black students saw a 7.7-percentage-point increase in those achieving proficiency while Hispanic students experienced a 7.1-percentage-point increase. In both cases, the increases were greater than those seen by white students, who experienced a 5.6-percentage-point increase statewide. As a result, the achievement gap in ELA that separates the proficiency of black and Hispanic students from their white peers closed slightly statewide.

 

In New York City, black students scoring at the ELA proficiency level increased 7.6 percentage points; Hispanic students increased 7.4 percentage points; and white students increased 7.6 percentage points.

 

Statewide % of Students Proficient  in Grades 3-8 ELA

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Asian/Pacific Islander ELA

52.5

59

6.5

Black ELA

18.5

26.2

7.7

Hispanic ELA

19.7

26.8

7.1

American Indian/ Alaska Native ELA

23.8

29.9

6.1

White ELA

40.4

46

5.6

NYC % of Students Proficient  in Grades 3-8 ELA

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

NYC Asian/Pacific Islander ELA

52

58.8

6.8

NYC Black ELA

19

26.6

7.6

NYC Hispanic ELA

19.8

27.2

7.4

NYC American Indian/ Alaska Native ELA

28.7

34.9

6.2

NYC White ELA

51.3

58.9

7.6

 

 

Proficiency on the math exam statewide and in New York City also increased for black and Hispanic students in math this year, however, less than in ELA.

 

 

Statewide % of Students Proficient  in Grades 3-8 Math

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Asian/Pacific Islander Math

66

66.5

0.5

Black Math

21.3

23

1.7

Hispanic Math

24.5

25.7

1.2

American Indian/ Alaska Native Math

30.7

29.5

-1.2

White Math

49.7

50

0.3

NYC % of Students Proficient  in Grades 3-8 Math

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

NYC Asian/Pacific Islander Math

66.8

67.2

0.4

NYC Black Math

19.1

20

0.9

NYC Hispanic Math

23.7

24.3

0.6

NYC American Indian/ Alaska Native Math

34.3

32.2

-2.1

NYC White Math

56.7

57.8

1.1

 

 

English Language Learners

Statewide in ELA, proficiency increased for both “Ever ELLs” (students who received ELL services prior to but not during the 2015-16 school year) and “Never ELLs” (students who never received ELL services). Ever ELL students performing at the proficiency level increased by 9 percentage points this year while Ever ELLs outperformed all grade 3-8 test takers combined, statewide.

In math, Ever ELL students scoring at the proficiency level increased by three percentage points while Never ELL students experienced 1.0-percentage-point increase in proficiency.

 

% of Students Proficient in  Grades 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Current ELLs ELA

3.9

4

0.1

Ever ELLs ELA

30.5

39.7

9.2

Never ELLs ELA

33.9

40.8

6.9

Current ELLs Math

12.7

11.5

-1.2

Ever ELLs Math

40.6

43.6

3

Never ELLs Math

40.7

41.7

1.0

 

Students with Disabilities

Across the state, the percentage of students with disabilities who scored at the proficient level increased in both ELA and math. While a greater percentage of students with disabilities reached proficiency in 2016, their proficiency on the state assessments continues to be lower than the proficiency of general education students.

 

% of Students Proficient in  Grades 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Student with Disabilities ELA

5.7

7.9

2.2

Student with Disabilities Math

10.6

10.9

0.3

 

 

Charter Schools

The percentage of charter school students who scored at the proficient level on the ELA exam across grades 3-8 increased this year, more so for students attending charter schools in New York City. Statewide, the proficiency of students in charter schools increased by 12.8 percentage points on the ELA exam while in New York City, proficiency increased by 13.7 percentage points.

 

In math, student proficiency increased less. Statewide, students in charter schools scoring at the proficient level increased by 3.9 percentage points on the math exam; in New York City, proficiency increased by 4.5 percentage points.

 

% of Students Proficient in  Grades 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Charter Schools Combined Grades ELA

27.5

40.3

12.8

NYC Charter Combined Grades ELA

29.3

43

13.7

Charter Schools Combined Grades Math

41.5

45.4

3.9

NYC Charter Combined Grades Math

44.2

48.7

4.5

 

Early Grade ELA Improvement

Student proficiency on the ELA exam went up the most in grades 3 and 4 this year. Statewide, the percentage of third graders who scored at the proficient level increased by 10.9 percentage points over last year while fourth graders experienced an 8.1-percentage-point increase.

 

% of Students Proficient  in ELA in Grades 3-8

2015

2016

Percentage Point Change

Statewide Combined Grade 3 ELA

31

41.9

10.9

Statewide Combined Grade 4 ELA

32.7

40.8

8.1

 

While one reason for the increases cannot be pinpointed, a variety of factors may have contributed. In response to feedback received from stakeholders across the state, the Department made a number of changes to the Grades 3-8 assessments this year including reducing the number of test questions on every assessment and allowing students who were working productively to complete their exams without time constraints. Further, teachers have had an additional year of experience with, and professional development in, the State’s higher learning standards. That added comfort and experience may have resulted in greater levels of student proficiency.

 

Not Tested Count and Test Refusal Count

 

Historically, SED only tracked the number of students not tested for an invalid, unknown reason. These students are categorized as “not tested” students.  The not tested count includes students who were absent during the test administration period as well as students who refused the test. The count does not include students who were medically excused.

 

According to state data, approximately 78 percent of eligible students participated in the 2016 Grades 3-8 ELA and math tests, which is relatively flat compared to the previous year’s 80 percent. About 22 percent of eligible test takers did not participate in these tests and did not have a recognized, valid reason for not participating (not tested), again remaining relatively flat with 20 percent in 2015.

This year SED, in collaboration with the Regional Information Centers, improved its data collection methods and can now provide Test Refusal data.  This year, the test refusal rate was approximately 21 percent, which is relatively flat with last year. A Test Refusal file by school district will be available online later today at:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs.

 

% of Students Statewide Not Tested & Test Refusal

2015 Not Tested

2016 Not Tested

2016 Test Refusal

20%

22%

21%

Department data shows about 50 percent of the test refusal students this year did not participate in 2015.

In addition, the 2016 test refusal students were much more likely to be from low-need or average-need districts; more likely to have scored at Level 1 and Level 2 in 2015 if they took the tests; less likely to be economically disadvantaged; less likely to be a student with a disability; and much less likely to be English Language Learners.

Like last year, this year’s proficiency rates represent the 900,000 students who actually took the test. There is no statewide measure of knowledge and skill for those students who refused the test.

School and District Results

A summary of the test results, as well as individual school and district results, will be available later today at: http://data.nysed.gov.

Video and Audio Available

Video and Audio of Commissioner Elia are available for download.

Audio: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/2016-3-8-test-results-audio.mp3

Video: http://www.nysed.gov/video/2016-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-test-results

-30-


Visit EngageNY.org

Follow the Commissioner on Twitter: @NYSEDNews

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK ON THE INTERNET–www.whiteplainsweek.com and on YOUTUBE

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State Senate Candidate Julie Killian–Alerts Parents to “Red Flag” Day — Warns of Govt. Plan to designiate high opt-out Schools as “Needing Improvement.”

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2016.From Rye Councilwoman Julie Killian. January 28, 2016: 
RYE CITY COUNCILWOMAN AND STATE SENATE CANDIDATE JULIE KILLIAN WILL BE JOINED BY RED-FLAG-WIELDING PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN ISSUING A RED FLAG ALERT TO EVERY WESTCHESTER SCHOOL PARENT AND PROPERTY OWNER OVER A LOOMING FEDERAL REGULATION THAT, UNLESS STOPPED, WILL DAMAGE THE REPUTATIONS OF COUNTY SCHOOLS, AND, POTENTIALLY, HOME VALUES.

PARENTS HAVE A SUPER TIGHT DEADLINE TO WEIGH IN ON THE PROPOSAL, WHICH WOULD DESIGNATE SCHOOLS WITH COMMON CORE OPT-OUT RATES OF 5% OR GREATER — VIRTUALLY EVERY WESTCHESTER ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL — AS “IN NEED OF IMPROVEMENT” SCHOOLS.

COUNCILWOMAN KILLIAN WILL CHARGE THAT THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE UTTERLY FAILED TO ALERT NEW YORKERS ABOUT THIS EXTRAORDINARY AND POTENTIALLY DAMAGING PROPOSAL.  

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WHITE PLAINS SALES TAX REVENUES CLOSE CITY FISCAL YEAR JUST ENDED DOWN 2% FROM 2014-2015. City ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SLUGGISH. COUNTY UP 1.3% AFTER 6 MONTHS

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. BY JOHN F. BAILEY. July 26, 2016:

A $4,441,089 JUNE sales tax “handle,” 4.3% more than June, 2015 averted  a significant deficit as the City  of White Plains closed the books on 2015-16.

However the city closed the year $1,181,049 down from last year’s record sales tax revenues of $50,972,587, with the city generating $49,791,538 in sales taxes in 2015-16. This is a 2% decline.

This leaves the city with the decision whether to trim the adopted budget slightly or cross their fingers that revenues will rebound in back-to-school sales in August. The city earned $24,693,082 the second half of the fiscal year January to June, 2016, compared to $25,304,999, January to June, 2015, a decline of 2.4%.

Westchester County through the first six months of its fiscal year  generated 1.3% more sales tax revenues than the first half of 2015. In January to June of this year the county has earned $248,378,272 in sales tax revenues compared to $245,255,067 January to June 2015.

The Westchester County budgeteers predicted they would earn 14% more in sales revenues in 2016, which seems very unlikely to be met since they are only up 1.3%.

 

 

 

 

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Unemployment Rate for Hudson Valley Region, 4%–Lowest in 9 years.

WPCNR ECONOMIC NOTES. From the New York State Department of Labor, White Plains. July 26, 2016
The June 2016 unemployment rate for the Hudson Valley Region is 4.0 percent (lowest June level since 2007).  That is up from 3.8 percent in May  2016 and down from 4.7 percent in June 2015.
In June 2016, there were 45,500 unemployed in the region, up from 43,600 in May 2016 and down from 54,000 in June 2015.  Year-over-year in June 2016, labor force increased by 8,100 or 0.7 percent, to 1,152,600.
Among the 7 counties in the region, Putnam County (3.7 percent) had the lowest unemployment rate.
  • Putnam County 3.7 percent
  • Rockland County 3.9 percent
  • Westchester County 3.9 percent
  • Dutchess County 4.0 percent
  • Orange County 4.0 percent
  • Ulster County 4.0 percent
  • Sullivan County 4.2 percent
Of the 10 Labor Market Regions in New York State, the Hudson Valley Region (4.0 percent) had the third lowest unemployment rate in June 2016, trailing only Capital Region and the Long Island Region which both came in at 3.8 percent.
  • Capital Region 3.8 percent
  • Long Island Region 3.8 percent
  • Hudson Valley Region 4.0 percent
  • Finger Lakes Region 4.3 percent
  • Central New York Region 4.5 percent
  • Mohawk Valley Region 4.5 percent
  • Western New York Region 4.6 percent
  • Southern Tier Region 4.8 percent
  • New York City Region 5.1 percent
  • North Country Region 5.1 percent
Feel free to call my office if you have any questions.
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IN THE HEIGHTS– LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA’S HIT BEFORE HAMILTON OPENS FRIDAY AT WHITE PLAINS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Opening Night This Friday

 IN THE HEIGHTS!

Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda | Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Conceived By Lin-Manuel Miranda

WINNER of the 2008 Tony Awards for 

Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations

Opens Friday July 29 through August 7th

www.wppac.com


The 2016-2017 Season is NOW ON SALE

SPOTLIGHT ON


September 24 at 7:00pm

Tickets: All Seats $29.00


 

 


A musical tribute to the great icons of Jazz, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
Featuring Trent Armand Kendall and Natasha Yvette Williams in the title roles. This musical celebration reunites THE ARCHITECT OF JAZZ and THE FIRST LADY OF SONG in heaven for one magical night.

These two friends and jazz pioneers rip through 24 of the most enduring standards of all time including: “Cheek to Cheek”, “Love Is Here To Stay”, “Stomping at the Savoy”, “Stardust”, “They All Laughed”, “Skylark”, “What a Wonderful World” and more…

The story is full of love, laughter and redemption as we learn about their parallel lives, the rise to fame and the fight to stay there. The irrepressible Armstrong (also surprisingly comedic) and the spellbinding Fitzgerald (with a voice as smooth as silk) were the biggest stars of their day who recorded three highly acclaimed albums featuring countless chart-topping hits.

LOUIS and ELLA! by Trent Armand Kendall
Music Direction by Darius Frowner | Book by Trent Armand Kendall
 
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Hudson Valley Employment up 2.4% in Year. Record Number of Jobs in Private Sector (803,900)

 WPCNR ECONOMIC NOTES. From the New York State Department of Labor. Jul 25, 2016:
For the 12-month period ending in June 2016, private sector employment in the Hudson Valley increased by 18,700 or 2.4 percent, to 803,900.
Jobs were added in educational and health services (+7,700), professional and business services (+2,800), leisure and hospitality (+2,700), trade, transportation and utilities (+2,700), natural resources, mining and construction (+2,200), and other services (+2,200).  Job losses were mostly centered in financial activities (-1,200).  The government sector added 1,200 jobs over the period.
The job numbers came in fairly strong in June 2016.  Private sector job count reached an all-time record high level at 803,900.
Year-over-year, educational and health services grew by 4.0 percent or 7,700 jobs – its fastest June growth since 1999.  Growth in that supersector is mostly attributed to a strong health care component.
After eight consecutive months of reporting year-to-year job losses, the region’s leisure and hospitality sector rebounded nicely with a gain of 2.9 percent or 2,700 jobs.
Private sector job growth was seen throughout the region.  Year-over-year, job growth was fastest in the Kingston MSA (+2.7 percent), followed by the Orange-Rockland-Westchester labor market (+2.5 percent), the Dutchess-Putnam MSA (+2.1 percent), and Sullivan County (+1.0 percent).
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Alleged Forger Arrested.

WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. From the Westchester County District Attorney. July 25, 2016:

Acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty announced Monday that Devante Rainey (DOB 06/02/92) of 34 Snowden Avenue, Ossining, New York has been arraigned on a twenty seven count felony complaint charging him with the following:

  • sixteen counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, class “D” Felonies,
  • two counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, class “D” Felonies,
  • two counts of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class “D” Felonies,
  • two counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree: Assume Another’s Identity-Commits or Attempts to Commit a “D” Felony, class “D” Felonies,
  • one count of Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices, a class “D” Felony,
  • one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class “E” Felony,
  • one count of Tampering With Physical Evidence, a class “E” Felony,
  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony,
  • one count of Identity Theft in the Second Degree: Assume Another’s Identity-Commit or Attempt to Commit a Felony, a class “E” Felony.

Rainey has been the target of a two year investigation by this office. He is a prolific check forger who has a distinct modus operandi: it is believed he purchases photographs of co-defendants payroll checks, then he uses the routing numbers and checking account numbers on those checks to create forged checks using Versacheck small business software.

He then deposits the checks via mobile deposit into co-conspirators bank accounts, making the fraudulent activity one step removed from him. He uses fictitious payor names and addresses on the checks to further mislead law enforcement.

In March 2016, search warrants were executed on two premises that Rainey was using as forgery “mills.”  Computers, printers, forged checks, and phones were recovered.

Forensic analysis of the phones and computers revealed large scale fraudulent activity. Search warrants were also executed on Rainey’s Facebook page that resulted in the recovery of additional evidence.

The defendant was arraigned on these charges in Ossining Village Court on July 12, 2016 and in Cortlandt Town Court on July 18, 2016.

Rainey pled not guilty.

The defendant is remanded to the Westchester County Jail.

His next court date is July 26, 2016.

The defendant faces a sentence of imprisonment, the minimum of which is two years, up to a maximum of seven years in state prison.

Assistance in this investigation was provided by the Village of Ossining Police Department.

 

Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Lee of the Investigations Division is prosecuting the case.

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TONIGHT ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD–THE ONE AND ONLY HEZI ARIS — EDITOR YONKERS TRIBUNE; HOST ON THE LEVEL ON BLOGTALK RADIO ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

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HEZI ARIS–THE WESTCHESTER NEWS LEGEND–IN FRONT OF THE YONKERS RAILROAD STATION

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ON THE LEVEL

ON THE STATE OF WHAT PASSES FOR JOURNALISM TODAY

THE TROUBLE WITH GOVERNMENT

16 YEARS THE WATCHDOG OF THE COUNTY

SEE PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

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VERIZON  CHANNEL 45 COUNTYWIDE 8 PM

AND SATURDAY AT 7:30 PM

and

ON THE INTERNET AT

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