The 2017 Grades 3-8 New York State Assessments: What Parents Need to Know
March 20, 2017— The following information was compiled by the New York State Education Department
Every spring, the Grades 3-8 English
Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Tests are administered to students
across New York State. These annual tests are designed to measure how well
students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom
instruction and help to ensure that students are on track to graduate from
high school with the critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning
skills needed for success in college and the modern workplace. The tests
also show how schools and districts are progressing with the learning
standards. Below you will find information about the 2017 tests.
• The 2017 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests will be untimed so students who need more time to demonstrate what they know and can do will be able to work at their own pace. The 2016 tests were also untimed.
• In general, this means that as long as students are working productively, they will have as much time as they need to complete their tests, within the confines of the regular school day.
Fewer Test Questions
• The number of test questions on the 2017 tests will be the same as the 2016 tests.
• Each of the 2016 Grades 3-8 ELA Tests had one less reading passage and fewer questions than tests from previous years. The 2016 Math Tests also had fewer questions.
Greater Teacher Involvement
• Hundreds of New York State educators were involved in creating and reviewing the 2017 assessments.
• Beginning in fall 2015 and going forward, a greater number of New York State teachers has been—and will continue to be—involved in the review of all test questions and construction of test forms.
• Teachers from across the State gathered in Albany throughout the summer and fall of 2016 to evaluate and select questions for the 2017 tests.
• For the first time ever, New York State teachers will write the test questions for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests. These questions will first be used on the 2018 tests.
Faster Results for Teachers and Improved Resources for Parents
• Like last year, the State Education Department plans to have instructional reports returned to teachers by the end of the school year and release at least 75-percent of the test questions.
• Also like last year, the 2017 Score Reports for parents will feature the updated clearer design and more information about what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. These will be ready over the summer.
• This spring, some districts will administer the 2017 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests on the computer. The computer-based test (CBT) will have the same questions as the paper version but students will take the test on a computer, tablet, or Chromebook. The State plans to have more districts use CBT next year.
• The State is helping districts transition to CBT. The long-term plan is to have all districts use CBT for annual state tests because CBT has the potential to make the assessments stronger instructional tools and will make it possible to get test results back sooner.