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Source: New York State Education Department

What does this measure?

The percent of students tested who met or exceeded the state standard on the NYS Grade 8 English exam, broken down by student subgroup. Student performance is scored from level 1 to 4. The state standard is met by scoring at level 3 or 4 and is considered passing.

Why is this important?

The middle school English examination serves as a checkpoint for high school preparation. Performance on this exam can help predict high school success in English.

How is our region performing?

In 2019, 22% of low-income students, 2% of English language learners, and 6% of students with disabilities in the region passed the Grade 8 English exam, compared to 39% of eighth-graders overall. In comparison, at the state level, 39% of low-income, 4% of English language learners, and 14% of students with disabilities passed. This means that low-income students in our region passed at 17 point lower rates than those at the state level. Students with disabilities passed at 8 points below the state level.

Across the counties in our region, the passing rates for low-income students were highest in Wyoming County (34%) and lowest in Seneca County (14%). Monroe's rates were similar to those of the region overall, except for low-income students which were 3 points below those in the region as a whole. The low number of English language learners and students with disabilities in eighth-grade in many of the region's counties prevents any meaningful comparison of results across student groups within these counties.

For the cities in our region, the Rochester school district had a very low passing rate of 10% for low-income students, while Canandaigua had the highest rate at 39%. Low-income Rochester charter school students had passed at a rate of 41%.

We note that a substantial number of students did not take state exams in 2019 due to parent concerns about testing in schools. In our region in 2019, 15% of 3rd-8th graders in the region opted not to take the English exam. In 2019, Spencerport School District had the highest opt-out rate, at 39%, while the Rochester City School District had the lowest rate at 5%. The large percentage of students not taking the exam may have a significant effect on overall achievement levels and should therefore give caution to interpreting these results.

Notes about the data

Changes in the state's testing program over the last decade impact the comparability of test results year to year. In 2013, the state shifted to Common Core Standards and Common Core-based tests, making prior years' results non-comparable. The Common Core was adopted in most states to better prepare students for success beyond high school by emphasizing problem solving, understanding and synthesis, comprehension of nonfiction text, and other higher-order thinking skills. Due to the state's new two-session test design and performance standards, the 2018 grades 3-8 results cannot be compared with prior-year results, though results from 2013 to 2017 are provided for context.

Subgroup data is not published for small groups (fewer than six students) in order to protect the confidentiality of students.

Low-income or economically disadvantaged students are those who participate in, or whose family participates in, economic assistance programs, such as the free or reduced-price lunch programs, Social Security Insurance (SSI), Food Stamps, Foster Care, Refugee Assistance (cash or medical assistance), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Safety Net Assistance (SNA), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), or Family Assistance: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). If one student in a family is identified as low income, all students from that household (economic unit) may be identified as low income.

English Language Learners (ELLs) are those who, by reason of foreign birth or ancestry, speak or understand a language other than English and speak or understand little or no English, and require support in order to become proficient in English. These students are also referred to as Limited English Proficient (LEP).

Students with Disabilities (SWD) means children with a disability, as defined in Education Law; who do not turn 21 before September first; who are entitled to attend public school; who because of mental, physical or emotional reasons, have been identified as having a disability; and who require special services or programs. Students, ages 5-21, who are identified as having a disability, may have autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, learning disability, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment (including blindness).

Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the third quarter.

Student Performance on Grade 8 English, 2019
Economically DisadvantagedEnglish Language LearnersStudents with DisabilitiesTotal
Surrounding Counties26%2%7%41%
NYS (excluding NYC)27%2%8%44%
Regional City School Districts
Batavia School District30%0%43%
Canandaigua School District39%6%62%
Geneva School District17%0%8%29%
Monroe County School Districts
Rochester Charter Schools41%0%5%32%
Rochester School District10%1%1%10%

Source: New York State Education Department

Student Performance on Grade 8 English, 2013
Economically DisadvantagedEnglish Language LearnersStudents with DisabilitiesTotal
Surrounding Counties20%0%3%36%
NYS (excluding NYC)19%1%5%39%
Regional City School Districts
Batavia School District27%4%38%
Canandaigua School District32%7%47%
Geneva School District12%0%23%
Monroe County School Districts
Rochester Charter Schools17%3%19%
Rochester School District4%0%0%6%

Source: New York State Education Department

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS

*No or multiple regional values for this indicator

Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS