Exciting News about Test Scores and Clear Paths to College
I have some exciting news about student test scores—and ways we are building bolder futures for our city’s youth.
First, results from New York State’s 2023 exams showed promising upward trends in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. While the 2023 tests were aligned to new standards—meaning results from 2022 and 2023 aren’t directly comparable—we’re reassured by this year’s scores. More students today are proficient in math and ELA than in 2022, with nearly 50 percent proficient in math and nearly 52 percent proficient in ELA. In 2022, just under 38 percent of students were proficient in math, and 49 percent in ELA.
In addition, we saw increased proficiency among the students we have historically let down: students of color, multilingual learners, and students with disabilities. We also saw a narrowing of the gap between Black and Latino students and their white peers. These improvements tell us that we’re making strides in our recovery from the pandemic—and we will continue to build on this success.
Another way we are setting our students up for success is by ensuring all of them see a clear path to higher education and a rewarding career. In early October, I was thrilled to join City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez to hand out personalized “Welcome to CUNY” letters to seniors at City College Academy of the Arts, an early-college high school in Manhattan. As the letters explain, all NYCPS seniors on track to graduate this year will have a place at our city’s public university.
The university is also waiving its application fee for seniors and hosting more than 100 in-person and virtual events during October in association with College Application Month. Additionally, the State University of New York will be waiving application fees at all of its 64 colleges and universities from October 16 through October 29. Expanding access to higher education is critically important, and I encourage seniors to take advantage of these opportunities this month.
On the topic of admissions and applications, high school and middle school applications and registration for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) are now open. As families look at high school options for their children, I encourage them to consider career-connected learning that offers students paid, hands-on opportunities in fast-growing industries – look for schools designated FutureReadyNYC (FRNYC), Career Readiness & Modern Youth Apprenticeship (CRMYA), or Career and Technical Education (CTE).
As we celebrate our students’ progress and accompany them on their journeys to middle school, high school, college, and beyond, I am reminded again of their brilliance and limitless potential. We are prepared to give our students the life-changing opportunities that will not only shape their individual futures, but also the future of our city, our country, and our world.
David C. Banks
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