Scores from the New York state standardized tests reveal that students in the city displayed a remarkable improvement in math and a slight uptick in English scores during the last academic year.
The number of students who met the proficiency standards in the math exam surged, rising from 37.9% in 2022 to 49.9% in 2023.
The improvement occurred during the first complete academic year under Mayor Eric Adams and his chosen school chancellor, David Banks.
Similarly, English Language Arts proficiency saw a moderate increase from 49.0% in 2022 to 51.7% in 2023.
Chancellor Banks expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “These results are extremely encouraging.”
He added, “Under the first year of this administration, we’re seeing more of our students on grade level and meeting the State’s learning standards, with significant gains in math and increases in ELA as well.”
The tests were designed in alignment with new standards, making them not “directly comparable” to the tests from the preceding year, as per the city’s Department of Education.
Despite this, the chancellor emphasized that the rise in scores is an encouraging indicator, particularly noting the diminishing racial achievement disparity.
Additionally, Banks highlighted that there had been significant progress in proficiency among historically underserved groups, including students of color, multilingual learners, and students with disabilities.
He said, “These results tell us: we’re on the right track. We are making strides in our recovery from the pandemic, and we are going to build on this success this year and beyond.”
The data also highlighted a reduced score disparity between Black and White students: a decline of 2.1% in English and 2.2% in math.
Banks attributed the positive outcomes, in part, to the new phonics-based NYC Reads initiative, which led to a 5.3% point leap in English proficiency in specific districts – more than double the city-wide average gain.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state exams were not conducted for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years.
The 2022 math scores for city students witnessed a sharp drop compared to 2019, a trend blamed on pandemic-induced lockdowns and challenges with remote learning.