NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

It’s that time of year for NY State ELA and Math tests!
March 14, 2018, 1:59 pm
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Start preparing for the upcoming ELA and math tests for New York!

The common core state tests for New York State are just around the corner and if you’re a parent of a NYC 4th grader or 7th grader now is the time to panic! As you know, these tests are used for middle school and high school admissions for many selective schools within New York City. The state has released teachers guides to the upcoming common core testing (aka PARCC tests) that are available for everyone to review. Here are some highlights on how the test will be administered this year according to the guide:

  • For the ELA test
    • The 2018 Grades 3–8 English Language Arts Tests consist of two sessions that are administered over two days.
    • Students will be provided as much time as necessary to complete each test session.
    • On average, students in Grades 3–4 will likely need approximately 60–70 minutes of working time to complete each of the two test sessions. Students in Grades 5–8 will likely need approximately 80–90 minutes of working time to complete each of the two test sessions.
  • For the math test
    • The 2018 Grades 3–8 Mathematics Tests takes place over two days and consist of two sessions.
    • Students will be provided as much time as necessary to complete each test session. In other words, no time limit.
    • On average, students in Grade 3 will likely need approximately 55–65 minutes to complete Session 1 and 60–70 minutes to complete Session 2. Students in Grade 4 will likely need approximately 65–75 minutes to complete each of the two test sessions. Students in Grade 5 will likely need approximately 80–90 minutes to complete Session 1 and 70–80 minutes to complete Session 2. Students in Grades 6–8 will likely need approximately 80–90 minutes to complete Session 1 and 75–85 minutes to complete Session 2.

Looking for practice questions? Review what they have to offer at Testing Mom!

Schools punish students who opt out of common core testing
December 6, 2016, 4:56 pm
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Well, it looks like schools punish students who opt out of common core testing. At least according to this Washington Post hit piece. From Florida to California schools are retaliating against younger and older students on a variety of fronts. This ranges from holding back the younger kids to exclude high school students from early college prep programs. According to federal law school districts need to maintain a 95% test taker rate to keep the federal funds rolling in. Anything less than that the districts will be punished by reduced funding. If the schools get punished it seems it’s trickling down to the student level to increase test taking participation rates for the state common core test. In Buffalo, N.Y., for instance, kids applying to competitive middle schools who opted-out of common core testing were shut-out from the application process and even some private schools shut-out middle school students from applying due to no common core test scores. This goes against the NY State Legislature that past this amendment in 2014:

“[N]o school district shall make any student promotion or placement decisions based solely or primarily on student performance on the state administered standardized English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments for grades three through eight. However, a school district may consider student performance on such state assessments provided that the school district uses multiple measures in addition to such assessments and that such assessments do not constitute the major factor in such determinations.” NYS Education Law, Section 305, subdivision 47.

Don’t like common core? Here’s a video to support your point a view. Due to the recent election and President-elect Trump’s pledge to abolish the common core this may be much ado about nothing at this point in time.

State scrubs common core test questions
March 22, 2015, 8:21 pm
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Well, according to the NY Post it looks like New York state scrubs common core test questions due to lack of answers provided on certain ELA and math questions given last year to New York students.  It looks like with the elimination of these questions actually helped increase the overall test scores last year for New York State. Not that really made a big impact since over 60% of the students still failed both the ELA and math portions of the state tests based upon the common core. Maybe the third time is a charm with this being the third round of testing since New York converted from the much easier Regents tests to the common core tests in 2013. With $33 million on the line for Pearson (the publishers of the test) there will need to be significant improvement in this year’s scores to say that the testing is showing some significant progress over time.  I suppose if they eliminate more questions from this year’s test then test scores will automatically go up…although artificially. Even though all students in the state take the annual tests for ELA and math it’s a critical score for all the fourth graders in the NYC school system since these scores can be used for admissions into some of the selective middle schools in the city. It seems like people in the city are becoming accustom to the common core curriculum and testing as there haven’t been as many parents and teachers whining this year as compared to previous years. As with anything, change is challenging for some but not as challenging as some of these questions on the common core test.

If you’re needing practice questions for ELA and math for the upcoming test go visit our friends at Testing Mom.

New York ELA test coming up
February 23, 2015, 6:42 pm
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Well, it’s that time of year with the New York ELA test coming up in April! There are many types of questions on the ELA test according to Testing Mom.  There is so much controversy surrounding these tests since it’s based upon the common core standards that are sweeping across the nation. According to a recent article from NY Mag we’re testing children on the wrong things. There’s so much information out there about the ELA and math test and much of it is not accurate. Theses tests are given to students in third grade through eighth grade. The twist on these tests compared to previous tests is they include open ended questions instead of multiple choice. In places like New York City, the results of the ELA and math tests in fourth grade impact the middle school admissions  even though middle school starts in 6th grade. The overall results from last year’s ELA and math tests only 27% of the kids actually passed the test so that means that 63% of the kids aren’t even performing at grade level…at least according to these particular tests.  There’s so much pressure on these kids starting at the age of 9 to perform well on these tests if they expect a chance to get into one of the top middle schools in the city. At this age, the kids can sense the pressure not only from their parents but also from their fellow classmates.