When PCSD officials discuss NYS 3-8 testing results for the district, they need to focus on how the students did in comparison to other students in the county and in the state.
Examining the percentage of students who met the NYS standards (quite low in many districts) is somewhat unfair because NYS required school districts to administer the new 3-8 tests before districts had the time to implement curricula that aligned with the new Common Core standards. Nothing like putting the cart before the horse.
Anyway, what is worth examining is how the district did in county-wide and state-wide comparisons. For instance, how did the PCSD do in comparison to Canton Central?
Potsdam (Canton) - decimals not included
English Language Arts (Percentage refers to percentage of students meeting new NYS standards)
3rd 35% (28%)
4th 36% (28%)
5th 35% (35%)
6th 26% (45%)
7th 50% (48%)
8th 50% (46%)
3rd 19% (38%)
4th 40% (30%)
5th 38% (31%)
6th 30% (28%)
7th 26% (28%)
8th 37% (36%)
School officials should be explaining the 6th Grade ELA results and the 3rd Grade Math results - obvious outliers. CPCS, Hermon-DeKalb, Canton, Parishville, Massena, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Heuvelton, and Morristown all had better scores in grade 3 Math. In Grade 6 ELA, Potsdam was surpassed by 9 other school districts in the county. Otherwise, Potsdam's scores are similar to Canton's - with Potsdam slightly ahead on 8 out of 12 of these tests.
In St. Lawrence County comparisons, the PCSD genrally did well. But that begs the question as to whether the county standard is high enough. Should the district be aiming higher? How did the PCSD compare to other schools in NYS? That will be discussed in a future posting.