It was a mixed bag locally with some school districts exceeding the state average passing rates on the Common Core tests and others lagging behind.
Statewide, the number of students in grades three through eight who achieved proficiency on the English tests jumped by 6.6 percent percentage points to 31.3 percent.
The percentage of those who passed the math exams increased by 1 percentage point to 39.1.
State education officials cautioned against making comparisons from the 2015 tests because they were numerous changes made. In response to feedback from parents and educators, the tests were made shorter and they were untimed.
Among the area school districts that did better than the state average on both English and math scores for grades three through eight are: Queensbury, Lake George, Bolton, Hadley-Luzerne, Fort Ann, Greenwich, Saratoga Springs, Schuylerville and South Glens Falls.
Districts that performed below the state average on both exams include Glens Falls, Argyle, Corinth, Granville, Hudson Falls, North Warren, Warrensburg and Whitehall.
Queensbury Superintendent of Schools Douglas Huntley said he is very happy with the district’s scores, which are stronger compared to the rest of the state. Fifty percent of the district’s students in third through eighth grade were proficient on the English exam and 57 percent passed the math exam.
Huntley attributed students’ performance to the amount of professional development that teachers have received to improve their instruction. The district has implemented the Readers and Writers Workshop series for English.
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In addition, the state has been releasing more test questions, so school officials can see where the weak areas are in terms of curriculum or instruction.
“We have a much better idea as to how our students our doing,” he said.
Queensbury has all eighth-graders take algebra, so they do not take the Common Core state math test that year.
At South Glens Falls, school officials saw improvement in 10 out of the 12 tests, according to Kristine Orr, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Like Queensbury, Orr said the district also is using the Readers and Writers Workshop series and given professional development to teachers.
“There’s always room for growth, but I think with our teachers working together and focusing on what’s best for our students, we’ve really been making progress,” she said.
Some South Glens Falls eighth-grade students take the Algebra Regents, so that may skew the numbers in that grade, she added.