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Chappaqua Test Scores Follow State, County Trend

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y.—The New York State Department of Education released the State English Language Arts (ELA) and math test scores for third through eighth graders.

The state-wide trend is that ELA proficiency is down to 52.8% from 53.2% last year while math is up to 63.3% from 61% last year.  That trend holds true in Westchester as well, with students scoring higher on the math proficiency tests than the ELA tests.

The Chappaqua School District was not exempt as it saw a greater number of its students score higher on the math proficiency exam than on the ELA tests. In fact, compared to 2009, the English proficiency scores are down in 2011 while math scores are up this year in third, fifth, seventh and eighth grades.

One Chappaqua parent had her own explanation for why the English test scores were down from last year.

“I spend a lot time with my son and when we lived in Rye he was in the talented and gifted but when we moved to Chappaqua things went south,” said Yulia Omelich, mother of Kirill Omelich, who just finished Seven Bridges Middle School. “I had a disagreement with his teacher in English at Seven Bridges because he never received grades in the first semester, and in the second semester he received a C+. His performance was really disappointing to me.”

Omelich moved to Chappaqua from Rye in 2008, as her son was entering Seven Bridges Middle School.

“They wanted the kids to go to school to learn, not to be graded,” Omelich said. “That was the explanation I got. Kids need to be directed, graded and reinforced. They need that maturation. That is complete nonsense to me.”

Chappaqua Central District Superintendent, Dr. Lyn McKay, defended the district’s test scores.

“We use standardized tests as one of the many measures of success,” McKay said. “Our scores were higher in general this year, but not in every level.”

McKay noted that state tests scores are not the only form of evaluation the district uses to measure teacher success.

“We have to look at teacher and principal evaluations,” McKay said. “They (The State of New York) have made evaluations more rigorous and more based on test scores but we usually focus on classroom and district and state assessments in our evaluations.”

John Chow, Assistant Superintendent for Business, noted that the test score results don’t have any relationship to state aid received in Chappaqua Central School District.

“There is no connection whatsoever,” Chow said. “The state aid we receive is based on the well factor. In fact, only 5.69% of our school budget last year came from state aid. No matter what the scores are, there’s no connection to state aid.”

To find more information on the test scores and scores at your school in the Chappaqua Central School District, please follow this link http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/ela-math/ .

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