Standards and Testing

Common Core

The state learning standards are essentially a series of learning goals and expectations that guide curriculum development and teaching practices across the state.

The standards, adopted by New York in 2011, are comprised of the Common Core State Standards — national academic standards developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers — along with a small set of additional standards.

Next Generation Learning Standards

New York state is transitioning to the Next Generation Learning Standards, which were adopted by the Board of Regents in 2017. All schools will be required to fully implement the “NextGen” standards in classroom instruction by September 2020.

The new standards are the result of a two-year collaborative revision process, during which more than 130 teachers, administrators, parents, higher education representatives and other stakeholders reviewed each (Common Core) standard and suggested modifications based on their own experiences and on public comments and additional reviews from researchers and content specialists.

State Testing

Each spring, tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics are administered to students in grades 3-8 across New York state. Exams are given over a two-day period, with students given as much time as they need to complete the test during the school day.

Frequently Asked Questions about state tests

Students read short passages and answer multiple choice questions on the ELA exam. They also provide textual evidence to explain their answers, and write an essay. Students taking the math exam answer multiple-choice questions, and show their work on more complex, multi-step problems.

Exam Results

Just like doctors use data and analysis to make decisions about patient care, teachers and school leaders collect information every day about students to ensure a successful learning experience. In fact, data and analysis are key to everything that goes on inside a school facility—from how a building is designed and the way services are provided to decisions about curriculum and technology.

Educators use a variety of methods and tools to gain a better picture of what a student’s needs might be. Such information helps them understand which instructional strategies are working and where more support and alternative strategies are required.

The state prohibits districts from making student promotion/placement decisions solely based on state test scores. Score reports are provided to help parents understand how their child is doing in ELA and math.

Video: Assessments in Education

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