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Ripley one of two in county to score below ELA proficiency

August 27, 2015
By Katrina Fuller - , Westfield Republican

According to state assessment results, no Love Elementary School in Jamestown or Ripley Central School fourth-graders achieved proficiency on the English language arts assessments this spring.

The New York State Department of Education released the test scores from the standardized assessments earlier this month, revealing that none of the 59 fourth-graders tested at Love School scored either a level 3 or level 4 on the exam.

The state average for proficiency on the exam was a rate of 32.7 percent.

However, if a student does not attain proficiency, they may not be on track to graduate.

Tim Mains, Jamestown Public Schools District superintendent, said there is still a lot of data to review, which the administration is currently in the process of doing.

"I've looked at it all lumped together, and I've scanned one report," Mains said. "We're still analyzing the data, but overall, the district stayed pretty much the same. That was also the pattern throughout the state."

He said with what he has seen, he is surprised there wasn't an improvement in scores across the board as the district has been adhering to the Common Core Learning Standards for a few years now.

"I was surprised, frankly. I expected to see a little bump," Mains said. "That causes us to ask the question, 'Why not?'"

He said the district is looking into the test results, and will be able to offer more details at a later date.

According to the state Department of Education, a student scoring a level 4 excels in the higher learning standards for this grade level, whereas a level 3 score means a student is proficient in the higher learning standards. Scoring at a level 2 means a student is partially proficient, and a level 1 means a student is well below proficient.

According to NYSED, the students who will graduate as the class of 2022 or afterward, or students who completed fifth-grade and lower, need to receive a core of level 3 or above to remain on track to meet graduation requirements at a college- and career-ready level.

However, for students who will graduate before 2022, level 2 and above on the ELA and math exams are considered on-track scores to meet graduation requirements.

The change in the requirements for proficiency is so students meet more rigorous requirements for graduation, demonstrating college and career readiness, but the rigor of the test has not changed, according to NYSED.

Just over 66 percent of Love Elementary School fourth-graders received a score of level 1 for the ELA exam, while approximately 34 percent scored a level 2, according to state data. In 2013-14, 0 percent of the same students (when in third grade) scored a level 4 on the exam, however 15 percent of them received a score of level 3.

At Love School, 15 percent scored at level 2, while 70 percent scored a level 1 in 2013-14.

Other schools in the district had fourth-grade classes that did achieve proficiency. However many of the proficiency levels were well below the state average.

C.C. Ring Elementary School fourth-graders had an ELA proficiency rate of 24.3 percent, while Fletcher Elementary School had a proficiency rate of 10.3 percent. Bush Elementary School had a proficiency rate of 16.9 percent, and Lincoln Elementary had a proficiency rate of 21.2 percent.

The state proficiency average in ELA for fourth-graders was 32.7 percent.


No fourth-graders at Ripley Central School District achieved proficiency on the ELA exam, according to NYSED.

Lauren Ormsby, superintendent and principal at Ripley, said despite the proficiency percentages, gains have been made in both ELA and math.

"Our students are continuing to make growth academically. Our results look bad because of the circumstances, but we will not allow one day to discourage us," Ormsby said. "(We) have to keep going, and we will get there. We are going to take our growth scores, determine who isn't making growth and provide support for those groups."

She said that the teachers and students work very hard during the school year, which isn't shown by the proficiency percentages.

While the numbers are important to have, Ormsby said the district likes to look at the growth scores of the students.

"These (percentages) don't show the good work of the teachers and the students in the classroom," she said. "In a school our size, we can't focus on percentages because one kid equals 3 percent."

Despite the discouraging number, Ormsby said the district will remain strong, and continue charging forward because in the end, she knows that is what is right for the students.

"We have a plan for next year, and we are excited. We are adding more elements to it, and we want to continue," she said. "We want all fours, and we are going to get there. Getting to proficiency takes time, and nobody wants to see those numbers go up more than we do."



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