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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The results of this year's statewide English Language Arts and Math tests are out, and they do not reflect well on the Rochester City School District.
New York educators released the numbers Wednesday morning. The annual tests that students in grades three through eight took last spring were the first to be aligned with the more rigorous Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by most states.
Many people expected that these scores would be much lower than in previous years, and they were.
Across the big five city school districts a smaller percentage of students met or exceeded the ELA and math proficiency standards than in the rest of the state.
New York City led the way with student outcomes. Rochester placed at the bottom of the list with only 5.4 percent of students having met or exceeded the ELA proficiency standard, and only 5 percent met or exceeded the math proficiency standard.
Educators say the results of these tests may suggest that the exams were tougher than in the past as they were designed to more accurately reflect a students progress toward college and career readiness. Although the scores show many children are struggling, city leaders say they came as no surprise.
"We're spending a tremendous amount of time here, every time these numbers come out, as though we discovered something," said Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards. "We know the school system is not performing well, we know that the school system has to perform much better and so does everybody who's participating in it that I talk to. And so, while I'm sure these numbers will confirm that, it's not news."
Superintendents and district leaders are still going over the numbers, but many say this should be seen as a new baseline rather than a decrease in student performance.
"I am confident that we are creating a sense of urgency to implement the changes necessary to improve student achievement as we move forward, such as giving our teachers and students more time and support," City School Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas said in a statement.