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NYS ELA/Math Exams: Nothing to lose sleep over

NY State ELA/Math Exams: Nothing to lose sleep over

Written by Mitchell Samet, PhD, HLL Clinical Director (4/1/15)

April 14 begins the statewide NY State ELA and Mathematics Examinations. However, this is nothing for you or your child to be overly concerned about. While the recent examinations reflect the new common core standards and are more demanding than in the past, your child’s performance on this test does not necessarily provide a great measure of his or her individual achievement.

The NYS testing program was designed to examine your school’s overall performance, and are not great measures of individual student achievement. However, these tests may help schools identify students who may be at risk and in need of academic support. Scores on the ELA and Mathematics exam can include:

4 Exceeding state performance standard
3 Meeting the state standard
2 Below the state performance standard
1 Well below the state standard

So, should you lose sleep over these examinations…NO! If your child does fall below the state standard, this signals the school that he or she may need some additional support in school, typically completed through AIS or Academic Intervention Services. So, students earning a ‘1’ or ‘2’ on the ELA or Math test will likely be scheduled for Academic Intervention Services of some form, typically delivered in classroom groups by your child’s teacher. Some schools will offer group intervention with a learning specialist.

What can you do? Explain to your son or daughter not to worry about the test. Make sure he or she understands why the testing is done, ensure they get a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast. And above all, tell them not to worry. Have them do the best they can, without trepidation. The examinations are simply a milestone assessment to see how they are doing. Please understand that the teacher’s grades and comments provide a more detailed and authentic assessment of your child’s classroom performance.