From SchoolBook by Beth Fertig:
While students across New York State made gains on this year's math tests in grades 3 through 8, scores remained stagnant in the English Language Arts. The results in New York City were slightly better, with students making progress in both categories and narrowing the gap between city and state scores.

The percentage of New York students considered proficient in math rose by 4.6 percentage points to 35.8 percent across all grade levels. The number considered proficient in English barely budged, moving up by one tenth of a percentage point to 31.4 percent on average this year.

"We saw significant statewide progress in mathematics," said Education Commissioner John King, noting that it's often harder to improve scores in reading comprehension because it requires more attention to vocabulary and a student's background knowledge.

New York City students showed gains of 2 percentage points across all grade levels on the English tests. On average, 29.4 percent of city students were proficient on their English, tests compared to 27.4 percent last year. This narrowed the gap between New York City and the rest of the state.

The city made similar progress in math. The percentage of students considered proficient rose by more than 4 points to 34.5 percent on average compared to 35.8 percent for the rest of the state.

The 2013-14 school year was the second year in which New York education officials gave more challenging tests aligned with Common Core learning standards. When the tests were first introduced last year, the percentage of students deemed proficient plunged to just 31 percent of students statewide in both math and reading.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the slightly higher scores reflected progress in tailoring classroom instruction to the tougher learning standards.

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