By Brendan Cheney
“Last month, the New York State Education Department released the results from this past school year’s Grades 3-8 Math and English Language Arts (ELA) assessments. The results showed very small improvement from last year, after a very large decrease from the year before that, as the state began implementing the Common Core-aligned curriculum.
The data released by the state includes the results for each school and, helpfully, the poverty rate. It also shows a strong relationship between those two measurements.
Here are two scatter charts, one comparing proficiency on the ELA assessment with the poverty rate at each school (as assessed by the education department) and the other comparing proficiency on the math assessments with the poverty rate. Poverty is the independent variable (the x value on the horizontal axis) and proficiency scores the dependent variable (the y variable on the vertical axis).
In the case of the ELA test, the relationship is such that a one point increase in the poverty rate is related to a 0.35 point decrease in percent of students proficient on the ELA. This relationship explains 43 percent of the variation in the proficiency rates, which means there are other factors that explain the remaining 57 percent of the variation in test scores.”