Tonawanda News

September 25, 2013

Ken-Ton warns parents of score declines

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The Ken-Ton School District has issued an explanatory statement to parents Tuesday as the state releases the first round of assessment scores since implementing a new tougher testing regimen. 

Ken-Ton parents will receive a score report this week, the release states. The district is warning parents scores are expected to be lower than last year’s due to heightened expectations.

“This is not an ‘apples to apples’ comparison,” Superintendent Mark Mondanaro said. “The tests, as well as the content being tested, are different from past years.”

The average state scores were released earlier this year. The results state that 31.1 percent of students across the state met or exceeded the proficiency standard for the ELA test, while 31 percent met or exceeded the proficiency standard in math. In Ken-Ton, 31.7 percent met the ELA standard and 28.1 percent were deemed proficient in math, almost exactly at the mean. 

By comparison, in 2010-11, 55 percent of state students were judged proficient in English language arts and 65 percent in math. That’s a drop of 24 percentage points and 34 percentage points respectively using the new tests. 

State officials said the drop was expected.

“The assessments are based on different, more rigorous standards,” Ken Slentz, the state Deputy Commissioner of Education, said earlier this year. “As such, the number of students meeting or exceeding the Common Core grade-level expectations should not necessarily be interpreted as a decline in student learning or educator performance.” 

Ken-Ton district officials said the year’s results will be used to create a baseline for educational programming.

“We will carry on with developing and deepening our curriculum as we work to align with the standards,” Janet Gillmeister, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction said.