• Parent Guide 3-8 NYSED Assessment


    The Federal No Child Left Behind Act requires that schools annually administer State exams in English Language Arts and Mathematics in Grades 3–8 and in Science at least once during Grades 3–5 and 6–9. In accordance with these requirements, once a year, public school students in Grades 3–8 throughout the state take assessments administered for their grade levels in these subjects. In addition to fulfilling federal and Commissioner Regulations 100.3 and 100.4, these exams also help gauge year-to-year progress for students and schools. Below is a list of questions and responses that you may have about these exams.


    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Student Participation in Grades 3-8  New York State Tests

    Parent Guide

    Parent/ Guardian information regarding the 3-8 NYSED Assessments.

    Click on the Links below for further information

    NYSED Parent Letter 2017-18  

    What Parents Need to Know about the NYSED Assessments (Powerpoint Presentation)

    The 2018 Grades 3-8 New York State Assessments: What Parents Need to Know 

    When are the State tests for Grades 3–8?

    The ELA exams are administered April 2-4, with make-up exams on April 5-9. The Math exams are administered May 1-May 3, with make-up exams on may 6-8.

    How are test results used?

    State assessments are an important part of a student’s core educational program. They provide an evaluation of student mastery of content and skills in various courses of study; serve as a tool for measuring the degree to which students are on track to graduate high school college-and career-ready, and help shape future instruction. Along with student work on classroom assignments, projects, essays, and assessments, State test results give teachers important information about where students are on their path towards college and careers.

    State test results are also used along with other factors to inform decisions about students and schools. The Westbury Public Schools use test results to assess the level of effectiveness of our schools and identify areas where schools require additional support. The State uses test results to evaluate schools as required by State and federal accountability rules. NYSED will not be using the state assessments scores as part of teachers’ evaluations.

    Is there a provision for parents to opt their children out of State tests or request an alternative evaluation?

    With the exception of certain areas in which parental consent is required, such as Committee on Special Education (CSE) evaluations for students with disabilities and certain federally-funded surveys and analyses specified under the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, there is no provision in the State statute or regulation allowing parents to opt their children out of State tests or request an alternative evaluation.

    What should a principal do if parents express an interest in opting their children out of the State exams?

    The principal should offer to meet with the parents to discuss their concerns. The principal may want to explain that a student’s test scores will be only one of a number of factors that evaluate his or her progress and describe the impacts of opting out of the State exams (as detailed in this Parent Guide).

    Are parents required to use specific language when opting out of the State tests?

    With the exception of certain areas in which parental consent is required, there is no formal provision allowing parents to opt their children out of State tests. If you are considering opting your child out of the State tests, please speak with your child’s principal about the implications of not participating in advance of the test dates.

    What happens during test administration if a student is absent?

    If a student is absent during test administration, the school will administer the test during the make-up period. If a student is also absent during the make-up period, the student will not be tested.

    What happens during test administration if a student refuses to take a State exam?

    If a student is in school and refuses to take a State test, the school will make every effort to arrange for another instructional activity, such as reading or completing another project or assignment.

    What happens after test administration if a student refuses to participate in State testing?

    Students who do not participate will not receive a score, similar to students who were present for the exam but did not respond to any questions or for students whose exams were invalidated as a result of an administrative error.

    Schools assess student progress toward attaining Common Core Learning Standards based on multiple measures. State test outcomes may be one measure alongside grades, report cards, samples of student writing, projects, assignments, and other performance-based student work.  However, State test scores may not be the primary or major factor in promotion decisions.

    For State and Federal school accountability:

    Under State and federal accountability rules, the State measures each school’s rate of participation on State tests. Regardless of the reason (i.e., absence or refusal), if less than 95% of a school’s students or one or more of its subgroups of students (e.g., less than 95% of black students, students with disabilities, etc.) take the math or ELA assessments, the school is designated having failed to make “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP) for that school year. This leads to the following:

    • After three years of missing AYP for the same subgroup, a school can be identified as a Local Assistance Plan (LAP) school. LAP schools are not considered “in good standing” and are generally subject to additional reporting and self-review requirements.
    • Existing Priority and Focus schools—schools that are identified as the lowest performing by the State—that do not make the AYP participation target cannot be removed from this negative status.
    • Schools that do not meet the participation rate criteria are not eligible to be considered “Reward school” status, which highlights schools identified as demonstrating high performance or high progress relative to other schools in the State.
    • Please note that all intervention decisions are based on intensive review of many factors; no intervention would ever be made solely on the basis of the State test participation rate.