In 2010, the New York State Education Department adopted the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). These new, more rigorous standards were developed by education, business and state leaders to better prepare students for career and college success. The result is that students are being asked to learn new skills, concepts and different ways of approaching questions and solving problems. The new standards are reflected in an updated curriculum in our schools that is being fully implemented in the 2013-14 school year.
The exams that Cohoes students in grades 3-8 took in 2012-13 were new, and based on CCLS. As a result, we will not be able to compare this year’s exams to last year’s exams in the way that we have in the past. Because the instruction leading up to the tests and the tests themselves were different, any dip in student scores should not be interpreted as a decline in student learning or teacher performance.
As in the past, these assessments will
not factor into a student’s grades for the year. Cohoes’ teachers
and administrators will continue to work diligently to teach the
skills that are measured by these exams through thoughtful and
engaging lessons and activities – not merely test preparation