A message from Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Rachel Anderson:
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The arrival of spring signals the start of another seasonal activity for our students in Grades 3 through 8. The annual New York State (NYS) assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics will be administered in a few short weeks. These annual tests are mandated by the United States Department of Education (USDOE), and are designed to measure how well students are mastering the NYS learning standards that guide classroom instruction. These assessments also 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, and provide us with an annual program review. The data provided by these assessments helps us determine how to improve our academic programs, and the results of the assessments are reviewed at every level.
The State Education Department has made a number of changes to the annual Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments over the past few years. A summary of these changes is below.
The Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests are untimed so students who need more time to demonstrate what they know and can do will be able to work at their own pace. 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.
Greater Teacher Involvement
Hundreds of New York State educators served on state-wide committees to write, evaluate and select questions for the 2023 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests. Teacher involvement in writing and selecting questions will continue in future years.
Faster Results for Teachers and Improved Resources for Parents
As in recent years, the State Education Department plans to have instructional reports returned to teachers by the end of the school year and to release at least 75-percent of the test questions to help teachers and school leaders make decisions about future instruction.
Also, as in past years, the 2023 Score Reports for parents will feature an updated, clear design with more information about what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
New York State is transitioning to computer-based testing for the Grades 3-8 Tests. In Guilderland, we have administered our Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests on computers rather than on paper since 2019. The computer-based tests have the same questions as the paper versions of the tests.
Students and teachers have been preparing for the computer-based tests over the past few months, and students should be familiar with the format prior to the test administration dates. The Question Sampler is available to the public online (https://cbtsupport.nysed.gov/hc/en-us/articles/115000943046-New-York-Question-Sampler), and may be used by parents and students to become familiar with computer-based testing.
You can find more information about the State tests on the State Education Department’s website (http://www.nysed.gov/state-assessment/parent-resources). If you have additional questions, please contact your child’s building principal.
We look forward to your child’s success with New York State tests this spring.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction