New York: The Grades 3-8 Testing Program in English Language Arts and Mathematics
Achieving Excellence in Education
The New York State Board of Regents has set high learning standards for all students. In classrooms across the State, teachers are providing instruction aligned to these standards. Teachers are also routinely assessing student progress toward meeting these standards.
To provide schools, teachers, and parents with an assessment of student achievement, New York State has developed the New York State Testing Program. These standardized tests will be given each year at the same time and will challenge Grades 3 through 8 students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in English language arts and mathematics.
This guide contains information that answers the questions parents frequently ask about the New York State Testing Program. It explains the standards set for English language arts and mathematics and describes the tests that will measure student achievement. This guide also has suggestions for how you can help your children meet the New York State Learning Standards and prepare to take these tests. Working together, parents and teachers can help students learn more and perform well on these important tests. The information in this booklet will help you become a more informed and active participant in your child’s education. Of course, you may have questions that are not answered in this guide. If so, please contact your child’s teacher or school principal with specific questions about your child’s education.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is my child being tested
A: The New York State tests are designed to measure how well students have mastered necessary skills and to monitor the effectiveness of instructional programs. Although testing is not the only measure of a student’s knowledge and abilities, it is a vital part of our educational process. The testing helps assess both student achievement and the progress of our schools.
The purpose of the tests is to:
- Measure a student’s knowledge and overall achievement
- Measure a student’s mastery of specific skills
- Provide information to schools that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs
- Monitor the performance of schools and school districts for the purpose of accountability to the public These tests reflect the high standards set for elementary and intermediate grades and help ensure that students are prepared for high school. The tests are not meant to be used as the basis for promoting a student to the next grade. Students must still take and pass their courses and fulfill local school requirements.
Q: What is the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act?
A; NCLB is a federal law that requires all students in every public school and district to meet the State English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards. NCLB was enacted in 2001. The goal of the act is to improve the quality of education nationally by increasing accountability for states, school districts, and schools. Under this legislation, all states that receive federal funding are required to test students in Grades 3 through 8—including students with disabilities—in English language arts and mathematics in order to measure yearly progress. These tests must be aligned with the New York State Learning Standards. The information gathered from the results of the tests will be used to determine whether schools and districts are making adequate yearly progress in achieving State standards.
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