Students throughout the Valley Stream Central High School District continued to refuse to take the seventh- and eighth-grade State English Language Arts and mathematics tests last spring.
Of those who sat for the exams, slightly more than half passed the English test, but not the math exam, according to the State Education Department.
At the high school level, 52 percent of students received a proficient score on the English test, and 45 percent of students passed the math test, though the overall passing percentage might have been brought down because advanced eighth-grade math students could take a Regents exam instead of the state grade-level test.
Meanwhile, the data, published last week, showed that in the Valley Stream Elementary School District 13, 54.5 percent of the students who took the state English test received a proficient grade, and 58.8 percent of students passed the state math test.
In Valley Stream District 24, 61.5 percent of students received a proficient grade on the state English test, and 67.3 percent passed the math test.
In District 30, 65 percent of students received a proficient grade, and 61.5 percent of students passed the math test.
Throughout Nassau County, an average of 58 percent of all students who took the state tests received proficient grades on the ELA exam, and 60 percent of all students passed the math exam. Throughout the state, 45 percent of all students received proficient grades on the English test, and 44.5 percent passed the math exam.
“Valley Stream 24 consistently has results that are higher than the state’s,” said School District 24 Superintendent Dr. Don Sturz. “I think that really is a testament to our teachers.”
Sturz added that the district has a “robust” progress-monitoring program and uses the Northwest Evaluation Association tests as another means of judging a student’s proficiency. The NWEA is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that develops pre-school through 12th-grade assessments, according to its website.
District 30 Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Stirling said the district works “toward doing the best we can for all our students.”
Central High School Superintendent Bill Heidenreich said that district officials would “review our data to see if we have any teaching or learning gaps.” But, he said, having more than half of the student body refuse to take the tests “makes the interpretation of the results a challenge.”
At the high school level, 54.7 percent of eligible students in the Central District opted out of the state English test and 55 percent from the state math test.
In District 13, 38 percent opted out of the state English test, and 39.4 percent from the math test.
In District 24, 51.3 percent refused to take the English test and 51 percent the math test.
In District 30, 26.1 percent of students opted out of the English test, and 26.3 percent from the math test.
To increase the number of students taking the test this year, the State Education Department reduced the testing time from three days to two. For that reason, state officials said this year’s test results could not be compared with those of other years.
They also said that the test results were broken down into further categories, including socio-economic status and students with learning disabilities.
“It’s important to remember that while test scores provide us with needed information, they’re only one measure of performance, and we must always look at the whole picture,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said in a statement.