ECS Demonstrates Solid Results in 2014

Reprinted with permission from the May 2015 issue of the Ellicottville Central School District Newsletter.

By Mark J. Ward, Superintendent

While we recognize that State testing is only one factor in the overall assessment of a student’s academic growth and development, comparing ourselves to county school districts and New York State allows us to see if our curriculum and instructional approaches are preparing our students for the challenges the tests present. It allows us to self-evaluate to determine if our methodology and approach match up with the new Common Core. Our staff is constantly re-evaluating how they approach the standards and the grade level expectations so our students are prepared for the challenges of the new curriculum. We do not teach to the test, we teach to prepare them to meet the next grade level goals.

The results represent the second year of testing based on the new Common Core curriculum. While there continues to be a lot of discussion surrounding these tests, we continue to look forward to the challenges they present, and want our students and parents to know that we are keeping the results in perspective. Whether you are taking a driver’s test, SAT’s, National Occupational Competency Testing Institute Exams in CTE programs or a Civil Service test for a job; it is more than likely that you will be required to take tests throughout your life. Many jobs, promotions and opportunities throughout life are based on test results…they are just part of life.

The 3-8 testing allows us to see how well our students do both individually and collectively when compared to students in their same grade across the State. It also indirectly “grades” the teacher and shows whether or not the students they are teaching have shown academic growth (improvement) during the year. So in the final analysis, the tests do matter, and not taking them can impact students by not allowing parents, teachers and administrators access to important information regarding student performance.

The more difficult ELA and math curriculum known as the Common Core has been designed to better prepare our students for the challenges and competition they will face in college and the global work world. Some of the questions are very difficult, and, at times, do not seem fair, but the results do provide us with comparable data.

In the chart above, you will see how our ELA and Math scores in grades 3-8 compare with the CA BOCES schools and New York State. Collectively ECS was first or second in 11 of 12 tests!!!

We are once again extremely proud of our students and staff for their outstanding results!