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Changes in Grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments

Each year, students in grades 3-8 take New York State assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Over the past three years, the Board of Regents and the State Education Department have made several changes to the annual tests, in response to concerns from parents and educators. Here are the changes for 2018:

Fewer Testing Days

The number of testing days for the 2018 Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests has been reduced from three to two days for each subject. The Board made this decision in June 2017 in effort to further reduce testing fatigue for students and better enable them to demonstrate what they know and are able to do.

Additionally, as in recent years, the students will not be timed during the assessments and the test results have no official evaluation consequences for educators. These changes were first introduced for the 2016 tests and have been carried over to the 2017 and 2018 tests.

Questions Written by New York State Educators

The 2018 assessments will, for the first time, feature several test questions written by New York State teachers specifically for the annual New York State tests. Having teachers write questions helps to ensure an even greater alignment between the assessments and what our students are learning in the classrooms. In all, hundreds of New York State educators were involved in creating and reviewing questions for the 2018 assessments and constructing the test forms.

Like last year, the State Education Department will release the 2018 instructional reports for educators and 75-percent of questions from the 2018 tests on or around June 1.

 Why are assessments important?

These assessments show how students are progressing academically while providing a benchmark of how they perform in relation to other students in the district, regionally and across the state. Teachers are able to use the assessment data to help inform decisions about student academic intervention services. The assessment data is also used by the district to analyze and evaluate our educational programs.