Here's more information and reaction regarding the state standardized test results for Buffalo Public Schools:
As noted in today's story, performance in Buffalo once again lagged behind the area’s suburban school systems, but the district fell in the middle of the pack among New York’s largest urban districts.
Genelle Morris, the district’s assistant superintendent over accountability, said just five schools posted an increase of at least five percentage points in reading, and a few of those were early childhood centers that only test third- and fourth- grade students.
The early childhood centers were also among the 11 schools that saw a comparable increase in math.
Among particular subgroups of students, the district fared particularly poorly among students who are learning English. Just 15 of about 2,000 of those students met the state reading standards.
“You get goose bumps thinking about what’s going on that our students aren’t meeting this standard,” Morris said.
One school that saw improvements in both areas was the Stanley M. Makowski Early Childhood Center, which put more focus on making sure teachers understood the new standards and how to best introduce them to students.
The school also came up with its own internal assessment system that it used to pinpoint its students’ strengths and weaknesses, and where they needed help mastering the standards.
Olmsted School 156 saw some of the most significant improvement in math, with a 15 percentage point increase in students deemed proficient.
Interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie has vowed to make the implementation of the Common Core standards a greater priority in the Buffalo schools. That will likely involve professional development for teachers, as well as additional training and support for using the data to drive what happens in the classroom.
“I don’t think anybody in the district is ready to declare victory, even though there is progress,” Ogilvie said. “I think everybody’s aware there is still work to be done.”
To do that, Ogilvie points to work already being done in the schools that saw more substantial improvements.
“From a districtwide leadership perspective, you want to show in some of the buildings this is possible and use that as a rallying cry for the rest,” he said.