BUFFALO, N.Y. -- On Tuesday, Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) announced the results of the Grades 3-8 State English Language Arts and Math tests.
The data shows slight improvements, in terms of the percentage of students who reached scores of proficiency or higher. While these improvements are about on par with the rest of the state, the percent of students who achieved proficient scores or above is still lower for both tests than in the rest of the state.
17.8 percent of students in the district achieved proficiency scores or better on the 2017 ELA state test; much lower than the 39.8 percent of students whose scores fell in this range statewide. While 17.8 percent shows an increase of about 1.4 percentage points from the 2015-16 school year for the BPS, it is still slightly below the state average increase of 1.9 percent.
In terms of the math tests, about 17.2 percent of students achieved proficiency or higher in the district, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from last year. Statewide, 40.2 percent of students achieved proficiency or better, which also shows an increase of 1.1 percent.
The data also shows a majority of schools, 29 of 43, had increases in the number of students who achieved scores of proficiency or above in the ELA state tests. This number is a bit higher for the math tests — 30 of 43.
For the district's 11 Elementary-Middle Level Receivership schools, the results show an average building-wide increase of about 2.23 percent in the math tests and 1.26 percent for the ELA tests.
While the district's superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said the results this year are a positive sign, they also show the district still has a lot of work to do.
"There are many encouraging signs embedded in this year’s state test results for Buffalo," he said. "Overall, we are headed in the right direction, however, the pace must pick up in order for all of our children to be able to read and understand text at a college level or above by the time they graduate from our high schools."
Dr. Cash also said with the New Education Bargain with Students and Parents, reduced class sizes in early grades and a strategic focus on instruction should help to boost student performance moving forward.