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Common Core Learning Standards

POSTED 5/1/2013
State expects drops in student test scores; Improvements expected over time
In a recent video interview, New York State Deputy Education Commissioner Ken Slentz tells parents not to be alarmed when they see a drop in student scores for this year's grades 3-8 state assessments in math and English language arts.

The state Education Department says it expects lower test scores for this year as the tests have been redesigned to reflect the Common Core Learning Standards, which the state first adopted in 2010. 

As the tests have been changed to reflect the more rigorous Common Core standards, the new test scores will not be directly comparable to those of previous years.

"So when you see those test scores drop, for parents they should not be sounding an alarm," the deputy commissioner said. 

Test scores are expected to increase as the Common Core is fully implemented and teachers and students adjust to the new standards.

"Parents need to understand the changes to the test," St. Johnsville Superintendent Laura Lawrence said. "The scores won't be an accurate reflection of what students have learned. Once we fully implement the Common Core standards in our schools we'll see student scores increase." 

Watch the entire Common Core Implementation video here. It runs about 38 minutes. 

Near the end of the video, the deputy commissioner discusses what effect the Common Core Standards might have on school district organization statewide.

"We have 693 school districts right now, that's too many. It's just too many. Why is it too many? Because the system can no longer support it," Slentz said. 

As a result of the merger, the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District will have more financial resources to help it meet the demands of the Common Core with the district set to receive more than $1.4 million in state merger incentive aid next year in addition to regular state aid. As a result of the new aid, the proposed 2013-14 budget, if approved by voters, will allow the district to add teaching positions and lay a strong educational foundation for the new district without raising the tax levy for residents. 

Voters will go to the polls to vote on the proposed OESJ 2013-14 budget on Tuesday, May 21.