Families for Excellent Schools Submits Formal Request to NYSED Test Security Unit to Investigate NYS Grades 3-8 Exam Scores at 10 Brooklyn District Schools

New York, NY – Families for Excellent Schools submitted a formal request to the New York State Education Department today asking NYSED’s Test Security Unit to investigate an anomalous increase in scores reported for the Grades 3-8 Math and English Language Arts Assessments at 10 schools. The request, appended below, comes after Families for Excellent Schools conducted a detailed analysis of the results. This analysis is attached.

October 17, 2016

Mary Ellen Elia
New York State Commissioner of Education
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234

Dear Commissioner Elia:

Every year, the Board of Regents, educators, and families rely heavily on New York State test results to determine student progress, devise appropriate curricula, and spotlight schools and districts where changes in resources or personnel are necessary. As the sole yardstick families in Bed-Stuy or Buffalo have to measure how their children are learning compared to students in the Bronx, the integrity of the New York State assessments is of utmost importance.

A recent examination of 2015-2016 ELA and Math scores in the New York City School district by Families for Excellent Schools uncovered ten schools located in Community School Districts 13-18 in Brooklyn that recorded anomalous increases in proficiency coinciding with steep declines in test participation rates. Relative to the more than 1,100 district schools across New York City that participated in the Grades 3-8 Math and English Language Arts Assessment, the degree of improved student achievement in these ten schools is difficult to attribute to normal yearly academic progress alone.

The Test Security Unit of the New York State Education Department is charged with maintaining faith in the New York State Math and English Language Arts Yearly Assessments by investigating improprieties in the administration of the exams. Families for Excellent Schools is formally requesting that the Test Security Unit exercise its obligations to investigate possible misconduct in test administration, test supervision or score reporting.

A thorough, detailed accounting of our research is appended to this letter.

The schools in question are:

P.S. 005 Dr. Ronald McNair
P.S. 191 Paul Robeson
M.S. 267
P.S. 015 Patrick F. Daly
P.S. 147 Isaac Remsen
P.S. 133 William A. Butler
P.S. 021 Crispus Attucks
P.S. 120 Carlos Tapia
P.S. 770 New American Academy
Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy

Sincerely,

Jeremiah Kittredge
CEO, Families for Excellent Schools