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By Bob Zahm

The Rye Neck School District’s 2016/17 NY State standardized test results for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math declined both in absolute passing rate and county ranking compared to last year. The number of Rye Neck students taking the test increased: 511 to 572 in ELA, and 496 to 552 in Math. The opt-out rate declined from 31% to 27.1%.

The following tables show the percentages of students passing the ELA and Math tests over the past five years for the top five Westchester Country districts and for Rye Neck. In Math, Rye Neck has declined over the past three years from 10th to 15th in the County. In ELA, the District has declined from 14th to 18th.

District 2017 ELA Student ELA Passing %
  Rank 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
BRONXVILLE 1 75.8% 72.2% 66.0% 71.7% 68.6%
CHAPPAQUA 2 75.3% 71.9% 65.6% 70.2% 70.3%
SCARSDALE 3 74.3% 73.3% 63.6% 65.1% 68.9%
EDGEMONT 4 73.3% 74.4% 66.8% 61.8% 64.7%
IRVINGTON 5 71.2% 70.7% 63.9% 62.4% 62.2%
RYE NECK 18 61.9% 62.2% 57.3% 56.2% 58.6%
District 2017 Math Student Math Passing %
  Rank 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
CHAPPAQUA 1 82.1% 80.2% 78.2% 78.4% 70.6%
SCARSDALE 2 82.0% 80.3% 74.9% 71.5% 68.1%
EDGEMONT 3 80.4% 79.7% 75.7% 70.8% 64.5%
BRONXVILLE 4 80.1% 78.3% 75.5% 71.8% 60.5%
KATONAH 5 77.8% 71.0% 72.9% 67.1% 63.4%
RYE NECK 15 67.6% 69.6% 70.6% 63.8% 59.5%
Test Rye Neck Students Tested
  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
ELA 572 511 539 728 712
Math 552 496 511 689 721

To gain insight into the District’s views of the state tests, we spoke with Superintendent Dr. Barbara Ferraro and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Eric Lutinski. They said, “State Education Department test data for grades 3-8 is not a good measure of student performance.” The Rye Neck School District employs four of its own assessments using a tool called i-Ready, which collects quarterly grades, a final exam, and other data to develop a comprehensive picture of each student’s performance. Based on that data, the District seeks to identify and address individual student’s learning needs. The emphasis is placed on the lowest performing students. (Rye Neck’s four internal assessments are evidently not designed to provide comparative data on the District’s annual progress, or on its progress relative to other school districts.)

The District says that it is monitoring “students’ skills over the long-term to graduation.” They cite, for example, Rye Neck’s 11th-grade Regents English “excellent” scores (96% proficiency and above).


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