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New Common Core Standards Impact NY State ELA/Math Exams

by Mitchel Samet, PhD

Q: What are the new common core standards?

Forty-five states, including NY and CT, have recently adopted new Common Core Learning Standards, which define what students need to know and are able to do in order to graduate from high school fully prepared for college.  The new standards reflect a significant change in instructional focus, and include both greater academic rigor and increased focus on applying what has been learned.

Q: How will the new common core standards impact my child?

Changes in the common core standards will impact your child’s instruction, as educators begin to shift their instructional focus.  For example, the new standards in English-Language Arts reflect a “staircase of increasing text complexity,” so that students are expected to both develop their skills and apply them to more complex literature.   

Q: Will these changes impact the NY State ELA/Math testing program?

Yes.  State Ed predicted a dramatic decline in ELA and Math Scores.  Deputy Commissioner, Ken Slenz, predicted that ELA pass rates will decline from 55% to 30-37% statewide.  Mathematics scores are expected to decline from 65%  to 30-37% statewide. 

Q: Are the scores out?  What should I expect?

NY State has distributed district and school-wide results for the new 2013 examinations.  You can access your school and overall district performance online by clicking this link:  In September, your child’s school will distribute individual student reports to families, for students in grades 3-8.  Students earning a ‘3’ or ‘4’ remain at or above the performance standard, while scores of ‘1’ or ‘2’ are below the state’s performance standard. 

Q: What can be done to help?

All students earning a ‘1’ or ‘2’ on the ELA or Math test will be scheduled for Academic Intervention Services (AIS) of some form, typically delivered in classroom groups by your child’s teacher.  Some schools will offer group intervention with a learning specialist.  The learning specialists at Hudson Learning Lab are prepared to provide your child with individual instruction and scientifically-based interventions which reflect the recent changes in the common core curriculum.