The New York State Education Department has released the scores for the 2012-13 State Assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8. These scores will be used by the Syracuse City School District and school districts across the state, to create a new baseline measurement of student learning.
The tests taken by students in New York State in the 2012-2013 school year are the first assessments that measure the internationally benchmarked Common Core Learning Standards.  Based on the results realized in other states that have implemented similar assessments, we anticipated that the scores in the Syracuse City School District would be lower as well. These tests are far more rigorous.  The results also more accurately reflect students’ progress toward college and career readiness.  Given that these are new tests, it is imperative that no comparison be made between scores from previous years and this year.
“These results show what we expected - we have a lot of work ahead as a State and district,’’ Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras said. “In Syracuse, we know that we must continue to support our teachers with Common Core professional development, resources and tools. And we will use the new baseline set today to further refine supports for our students, placing them on the road to success. We must maintain high standards and expectations ensuring all of our students are prepared for college and careers.’’
The 2013 assessments will allow the Syracuse City School District to recalculate the academic student benchmarks to more accurately reflect the progress students are making. The results will also help to target professional development and to make certain that instruction is closely aligned with how all students learn as well as the concepts they are expected to retain.
These results are in no way indicative of the level of teaching taking place in classrooms across the district.  They do not define the teachers, students or the school district as a whole yet they do serve as data points.  These data points will be used to help everyone move forward.
Letter from Superintendent Contreras to Parents
Letter from NYSED Commissioner John King to Parents
Press Release from NYSED Commissioner John King
NYSED Powerpoint Presentation