Malverne and West Hempstead students, for the most part, improved their performance on New York state’s standardized English Language Arts and math assessments in 2011-12, according to results released on July 17 by the State Education Department.
In seven of 12 scoring categories, there were increases in the percentages of Malverne students who met or exceeded the proficiency standards for the exams, which are given to those in grades 3 through 8. There were increases in eight of the 12 categories for West Hempstead students. Test scores are broken down into four levels, and students who score at Level 3 or 4 pass the test, meeting or exceeding the state standards.
Malverne eighth-graders exceeded the Nassau County average passing rate on the math exam. West Hempstead seventh- and eighth-graders outpaced the county average on the math assessment, while eighth-graders exceeded it on the ELA exam as well.
West Hempstead Deputy Superintendent Richard Cunningham said that district officials were pleased with students’ performance. “We’re always happy to see improvement,” he said. “It’s a good sign, but I can’t say we’re pleased enough to sit on our laurels. This renews our focus. We’ll look at these scores, look at what our anticipation is for achievement, and that helps us set our goals for the 2012-13 school year.”
Asked how school officials could improve students’ performance next year, Cunningham said, “We have to look at where our strengths are, and what learning standards we didn’t perform as we had hoped on. We’re looking for that data to help us figure out where we have to better our instruction.”
Malverne Schools Superintendent James Hunderfund noted that he was glad there was improvement in most categories, since there was extensive preparation for the exams by students and staff. But Hunderfund added that he felt that the scores on both assessments should have been higher.
“Overall, we were hoping to do better,” he said. “Everyone worked hard on this. I thought we would improve more than we did. Our special-needs children and some children in English as a Second Language did not do as well as expected.”