2021 NY State Math and ELA Assessment Results

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New York State Education Department released the 2021 State Math and ELA assessment results for students in Grades 3-8.

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and communities, the State recognized it would be unrealistic for assessments to be “standardized” last school year and submitted a federal waiver in February requesting to cancel the tests. The request noted that “State assessments cannot be safely, equitably and fairly administered to all students across the State.” The City is required by federal law to administer the tests to students and NYCDOE supported the State’s request for a waiver, although it was ultimately denied.

Due to the pandemic’s complete transformation of New York City’s school system last year, and in accordance with State guidance, the Math and ELA exams were optional for students to take and families could indicate interest in having their child participate in testing to their school. Fully remote and in-person students both had the option to participate in State exams.

It is important to note that this year’s process is a major departure from how State testing was historically conducted, so a year over year comparison of test results would be misleading.

  As the City made clear earlier this year, these test results would not reflect a representative sample of NYCDOE students nor their academic progress. A total of 21.6% of students in grades 3-8 took the English exam and 20.5% of students in grades 3-8 took the Math exam. Families faced a myriad of circumstances over the last 18 months, and accordingly the participation rates do not accurately reflect the diversity of New York City schools. A breakdown of demographics of test takers is below.

The administration of the State tests in the midst of a global health crisis created barriers for students, especially those from underserved communities. This year’s results show the tests failed to equitably capture the whole picture of student learning and further underscore the importance of NYCDOE’s historic Academic Recovery Plan to support students’ academic progress as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Quote attributable to Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter: “Our Academic Recovery Plan will continue to be our north star as we accelerate learning and expand supports for all students and, as we’ve said before, no student will be penalized for not taking the tests. One thing is clear: our families each faced many different circumstances last school year and these results do not accurately reflect the diversity of New York City schools.”

State Test Participant Demographics and Proficiency Rates

**Due to the unprecedented nature of this year’s State test administration and the non-representative percentage of students who took the tests, results should not be compared to prior years.**

 

ELA

Math

% of 3-8 enrollment

% test takers

% of 3-8 enrollment

% test takers

Asian

18%

28%

18%

28%

Black

20%

15%

20%

14%

Latinx

40%

31%

41%

32%

Multi-Racial

2%

2%

2%

2%

Nat. Am.

1%

1%

1%

1%

White

18%

22%

18%

22%

SWD

28%

16%

28%

16%

ELL

15%

12%

15%

13%

             Results by Grade

ELA

Math

Grade

2021 % L3+4

2021 % L3+4

3

66.3

61.7

4

68.1

53.4

5

53.6

49.2

6

69.3

47.4

7

60.7

52.7

8

65.0

27.5

All

63.8

51.5

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