18.7% Proficiency in English; 21.1% in Math
YONKERS, NY — Yonkers Public Schools achieved modest district-wide gains in both the 2014 New York State Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA) assessments. The results, which were released yesterday by the New York State Education Department, showed that 21.1% of Yonkers students in grades three through eight reached or exceeded proficiency in Math, a gain of 5.0% for those tested in both 2013 and 2014, and 18.7% of Yonkers students achieved at or above proficiency in ELA, a 1.8% gain for those students tested both years. Consistent with previous years, Yonkers maintained the highest levels of proficiency of the Big Four City School Districts, including Buffalo (12.2% ELA, 13.1% Math), Rochester (5.7% ELA, 6.8% Math) and Syracuse (8.5% ELA, 7.6% Math).
Compared to the overall performance in New York State, the Yonkers ELA gain of 1.8% is greater than the .1% (one tenth of one percent) gain in performance of students with statewide matched scores. Math, too, shows a stronger performance gain by Yonkers students (5.0%) compared to the statewide gain in performance (4.6%).
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Yazurlo said that the increased rigor of the Common Core Learning Standards requires continuous education for teachers and students, alike. “We are most certainly not satisfied with these results. For the coming school year, we are introducing goals and objectives that address weaknesses and are implementing strategies that will help garner greater student achievement. Relevant and sustained professional development is paramount – our educators must hone their ability to diagnose students’ academic difficulties and be prescriptive about addressing areas of concern.”
“The District has also initiated a redesign of Central Office administration for the coming school year to address the diverse needs of all of our students,” said Board of Education President Dr. Nader J. Sayegh. “Aligned with this is the restructuring of both the Special Education/Pupil Support Services and Language Acquisition, Bilingual and ESOL departments; improving services to our Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students and Students with Disabilities (SWD) will assist us in approving student achievement overall.”
Dr. Yazurlo also emphasized the importance of early childhood education to provide the necessary foundation from which to build academic success. “My primary priority is to ensure that our students know how to read and comprehend by grade three. Therefore, we will place a greater emphasis on instructional intervention for early childhood education to assist all students in becoming active readers by the time they finish the third grade,” said Superintendent Yazurlo.
SOURCE: Maura Lamoreaux, Public information for the Yonkers Public Schools