Most large school districts improve Common Core scores, but results vary by school, grade
Monday, August 18, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Updated 8/21, 12:34 p.m.

By ANDY GARDNER

Most schools in the six largest districts in St. Lawrence County improved their scores on grades 3 through 8 Common Core math and English language arts (ELA) scores this year over 2013, according to figures released by the New York State Education Department.

The exams, which were given in April, are graded on a 1 to 4 scale. Level 1 means the student is "well below proficient in the learning standards" for a given grade level, the SED says. Level 2 means partial proficiency, but the student is on track for high school graduation. Level 3 is considered proficient in common core standards and level 4 excels standards.

The SED ranks school districts according to what they call a "needs resource category," which is an indication of poverty level. Some of the factors to calculate it include the number of students getting free or reduce lunch, district property wealth and district residents' income wealth, Potsdam Superintendent of School Pat Brady said.

Results for the Potsdam, Canton, Norwood-Norfolk, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur and Massena school districts follow. Results for all districts in the state can be viewed at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/pressRelease/20140814/home.html on computers with Microsoft Excel installed. At the bottom of that page, there are four links to Excel spreadsheets. For ELA scores, click on the first link. For math scores, click on the fourth link.

Data listed below is matched. That means it is of a total number of students that took the test this year and last year.

Potsdam

At Lawrence Avenue Elementary, 45.98 percent of the students that took the ELA test reached proficiency level, a 9.2-percent increase over last year. Of the students that took the math test, 51.69 scored a 3 or higher, a 31.46-percent increase over least year.

At A.A. Kingston Middle School, 40.24 percent of pupils that took the ELA exam rated level 3 or higher, a .6-percent hike over last year. For the math test, 37.30 percent of students reached or exceeded proficiency, a .96 percent drop over 2013.

"The district made good progress over last year," Superintendent Pat Brady said, adding that he was pleased with the results.

He noted that Potsdam faculty have been partaking in summer common core workshops and some will act in a leadership capacity this year, imparting their new-found knowledge and skills to their colleagues.

Canton

At Banford Elementary, 37.80 percent of students that took the ELA test scored at level 3 or 4. That's a 8.54. Of the students that took the math test, 48.19 percent of them were ranked as proficient, which is just shy of 10 percent more than last year.

At J.M. McKenney Middle School, 36.59 percent of students ranked as proficient, which a is 1.4-percent decrease from 2013. Of students that took the math test, 39.66 percent hit level 3 or 4, nearly 10 percent more than last year.

Ogdensburg

For ELA, 28.18 percent of students at Madill Elementary ranked proficient, as did 23.35 percent of students at John F. Kennedy elementary. That represents respective increases of 4.55 and 3.08 percent. For math, 36.36 percent of Madill students scored level 3 or 4, as did 28.76 percent of JFK students. They represents respective increases of 13.64 and 10.18 percent.

Of seventh- and eighth-graders at Ogdensburg Free Academy, 20.66 percent of students scored at proficiency level or above on the ELA test, which is 3.72 percent fewer than last year. For the math test, 13.87 percent of students scored in the category, a 2.52 percent hike from 2013.

Massena

For the ELA test, 22.99 percent of Madison students scored level 3 or higher, as did 23.5 percent of Nightengale pupils and 17.74 percent of Jefferson students. They account for decreases of 2.14 percent at Madison, 3.28 percent at Nightengale and no change at Jefferson. For math, 26.46 percent of Madison students reached level 3 or 4, as did 19.21 percent of Nightengale students and 20.77 percent of Jefferson pupils. From 2013, Madison's proficiency rate went up by 2.65 percent, Nightengale's dropped by .56 percent and Jefferson's fell by .55 percent.

At J.W. Leary Junior High, 23.78 percent were proficient in ELA, or .27 percent more than last year. On the math test, 16.61 percent of students were proficient in math, or 4.56 percent more than last year.

Gouverneur

At West Side Elementary School, 9.76 percent of students scored a 3 or 4 on the ELA test. That is a 4.88 percent drop form 2013, when 14.63 percent of students were proficient. At East Side Elementary, 23.73 percent of students ranked as proficient, which is slightly less than 1 percent more of the 2013 percentage, 22.88. In math, 16.46 percent of West Side students scored proficient, which is 5.06 percent more than last year’s total of 11.39 percent. At East Side, 32.79 percent of students hit the proficiency mark, which is 11.48 percent more than last year’s total, 21.31 percent.

For the ELA test, 21.08 percent of 332 students at Gouverneur Junior-Senior High School hit the proficiency mark. That compares to 25.3 percent last year, or a 4.22 percent decrease. In math, 24.12 percent of students scored 3 or higher. In 2013, 15.43 percent hit the mark, an 8.68 percent increase.

Norwood-Norfolk

At the elementary school, 14.10 percent of students scored at proficiency level, a 2.56-percent raise from 2013. For the math test, 8.86 percent of students passed, which is an 8.86-percent decrease for the same test in 2013.

At the middle school, 16.19 percent of students scored level 3 or higher in ELA, a 2.52 percent drop from last year. In math, 17.6 percent of students scored proficient, a 5.62 percent decrease.

Comparison versus statewide averages

Data listed here is unmatched. That means it is of the total number of students that took the test this year, regardless of whether or not they took the test last year.

Statewide proficiency for ELA: Grade 3 - 31.8 percent; grade 4 - 33.2 percent; grade 5 - 29.7 percent; grade 6 - 28.9 percent; grade 7 - 29.5 percent; grade 8 - 35.5 percent.

• Potsdam: Grade 3 - 38 percent; grade 4 - 44 percent; grade 5 - 34 percent; grade 6 - 37 percent; grade 7 - 37 percent; grade 8 - 51 percent.

• Canton: Grade 3 - 34 percent; grade 4 - 38 percent; grace 5 - 24 percent; grade 6 - 32 percent; grace 7 - 47 percent; grade 8 - 41 percent.

• Massena: Grade 3 - 29 percent; grade 4 - 20 percent; grade 5 - 16 percent; grade 6 - 25 percent; grade 7 - 24 percent; grade 8 - 22 percent.

• Ogdensburg: Grade 3 - 21 percent; grade 4 - 27 percent; grade 5 - 22 percent; grade 6 - 23 percent; grade 7 - 17 percent; grade 8 - 24 percent.

• Norwood-Norfolk: Grade 3 - 12 percent; grade 4 - 13 percent; grade 5 - 16 percent; grade 6 - 19 percent; grade 7 - 7 percent; grade 8 - 23 percent.

• Gouverneur: Grade 3 - 14 percent; grade 4 - 23 percent; grade 5 - 9 percent; grade 6 - 14 percent; grade 7 - 12 percent; grade 8 - 36 percent.

Statewide proficiency for math: Grade 3 - 42.2 percent; grade 4 - 42.6 percent; grade 5 - 40 percent; grade 6 - 38.1 percent; grade 7 - 32.9 percent; grade 8 - 22.2 percent.

• Potsdam: Grade 3 - 47 percent; grade 4 - 53 percent; grade 5 - 43 percent; grade 6 - 43 percent; grade 7 - 22 percent; grade 8 - 41 percent.

• Canton: Grade 3 - 64 percent; grade 4 - 49 percent; 49 percent; grace 6 - 35 percent; grade 7 - 42 percent; grade 8 - 34 percent.

• Massena: Grade 3 - 43 percent; grade 4 - 26 percent; grade 5 - 16 percent; grade 6 - 25 percent; grade 7 - 26 percent; grade 8 - 6 percent.

• Ogdensburg: Grade 3 - 32 percent; grade 4 - 41 percent; grade 5 - 23 percent; grade 6 - 27 percent; grade 7 - 12 percent; grade 8 - 15 percent.

• Norwood-Norfolk: Grade 3 - 23 percent; grade 4 - 9 percent; grade 5 - 31 percent; grade 6 - 17 percent; grade 7 - 6 percent; grade 8 - 18 percent.

• Gouverneur: Grade 3 - 30 percent; grade 4 - 26 percent; grade 5 - 25 percent; grade 6 - 32 percent; grade 7 - 24 percent; grade 8 - 14 percent.