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Common Core test scores show rising performance across state

New York students posted their most substantial gains yet under the Common Core Learning Standards, with data released Friday showing improvement in both reading and math.

The percentage of students deemed proficient went from 31.3 percent to 37.9 percent in reading and 38.1 percent to 39.1 percent in math. Both subjects are up from 31.1 percent in 2013, the first year the state administered tests tied to the new standards.

Students in Buffalo saw similar gains, with the percentage of students deemed proficient went from 11.9 percent to 16.4 percent in reading and 15.1 percent to 16.1 percent in math.

State officials said it is difficult to determine exactly what drove the improvements because they made significant changes to the test and its administration this year.

But they also believed those changes, which included reducing the number of questions and allowing students more time to finish the exams, made a difference.

“The Regents and I are committed to continuously improving our standards, our curriculum and our assessments,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “Since my first day on the job a little over a year ago, I’ve been listening to parents, teachers, school administrators and the public – seeking their expertise on how we can improve. We’ve taken their advice and made important changes to the exams. It’s an ongoing process, but better standards, better curriculum and better tests will result in better student outcomes.”

This round of tests were the first administered under Elia’s leadership.

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