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Tom Dunn, Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie
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State Releases 50% of Questions from 2014 Grades 3 - 8 Assessments

Questions illustrate the breadth and depth of
standards measured by NYS tests

The New York State Education Department today released approximately 50 percent of
the questions used on the 2014 Grades 3 - 8 assessments ( a 100 percent increase in
the number released for the 2013 tests). The released questions will help students,
families, educators, and the public understand the breadth and depth with which the
state tests measure college and career readiness.

The released questions represent a range of difficulty and illustrate how student
performance is assessed in accordance with the learning expectations and instructional
shifts established by the New York State Common Core Learning Standards. Released
questions can help inform classroom instruction and local assessment practices.

The released items are posted here:

For each released multiple-choice question, explanations are provided, detailing how
the question measures the intended learning standard and why the right answer is
correct and why wrong answers are incorrect. For constructed response questions,
several examples of student work are provided, with explanations of why the responses
received the scores they did.

"New York State students and their teachers are rising to the challenge," said Regents
Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch. "Educators can use this information together with student
work from throughout the school year to help understand whether their instruction,
assignments and classroom assessments reflect the rigor and depth of our learning
standards and our statewide assessments."

"The test questions we are releasing today, coupled with item level data analysis and
instructional reports made available in July, are important components of a

New York State Board of Regents
Dr. John B. King, Jr.
Commissioner of Education
The State Education Department
The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications

comprehensive approach to instructional planning and professional development," said
Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. "We've listened to New York State
educators make the case that having more test questions available would benefit our
kids so we've doubled the number and provided a thorough explanation for every
student response."

The 3-8 assessments are only one indicator among multiple measures of student
performance and are intended to be used in conjunction with other tools to gauge
student performance, educator effectiveness and school accountability. All Regional
Information Centers (RICs) offer reports that allow educators to see the percentage of
students that answered each test question correctly and (for released test questions)
the percentage of students who selected each incorrect response.

This year, NYSED requested additional funding in the New York State Budget to
increase the number of test forms because more test forms would enable the
Department to release more test questions and eliminate stand-alone multiple choice
field tests. The request was not funded in this years budget.

The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that states annually administer
tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in grades 3 8 and high school.
The 2014 Grades 38 Common Core ELA and Mathematics New York State Testing
Program (NYSTP) has been designed to measure student knowledge and skills as
defined by grade-level New York state standards in ELA and Mathematics.

A wide range of resources are available to parents and educators on State

Performance Level Descriptions for 3-8 ELA and Math Tests that describe the
knowledge and skills students should display at each performance level:

Suggested analyses for 3-8 ELA and Math Tests that support student learning:

Test Guides for each grade and subject that contain specific details about the number of
questions on each test, which standards are measured on each test, and how students
will be graded on their performance:

Item and passage selection criteria for the 3-8 Assessments:

At the high school level new Regents exams aligned to the NYS Common Core learning
standards are being phased in and the complete exams were posted in June.

The Common Core Regents Exam in ELA (including annotated questions) is posted at:

The Common Core Regents Exam in Algebra I (including annotated questions) is
posted at:


Follow the Commissioner on Twitter: @JohnKingNYSED

New York State Educators Response to the Release of Items from
2014 Grades 3 - 8 Assessments

The data and resources shared by the Education Department are rich, and will help
teachers make instructional adjustments to ensure better student learning of the
Common Core standards in the upcoming school year. Teacher teams will be able to
analyze data and test questions, along with the annotations, to work towards the key
higher order thinking skills expected of students and revise or develop plans to facilitate
better student mastery of them.

Robert Mackey, Superintendent, Unadilla Valley Central School District

The release of 50% of the Grade 3-8 test questions and the instructional reports will
undoubtedly help the Poughkeepsie City School District as our educational leaders at
every level, from superintendent to principal to teacher and school teams, continue to
systematically assess our instructional strengths and challenges. These data and
resources will enable a better and more focused approach to meaningful, results-driven
professional learning opportunities and increased student success.

Nicole Williams, Superintendent, Poughkeepsie City School District

"The release of specific assessment items provides educators with the ability to analyze
student performance, curriculum adjustments, and instructional approaches in a far
better context as we continue to calibrate our work with students to meet increased rigor
and expectations. We look forward to using these newly released items to further
understand the complex changes needed within our classrooms to better prepare our
students to be College & Career Ready."

Matthew Cole, Superintendent, Livonia Central School District

"The Department's release of the instructional reports and 50% of the 3-8 Grade exam
questions helps to provide our school district with targeted information that we need to
best inform instructional practice and meet the learning needs of our students. This is
one of multiple measures and resources we use to reflect on our progress towards
doing our mission and achieving our vision."

Luvelle Brown, Superintendent, Ithaca City School District

Video: Additional Feedback
Educators from Saratoga, Washington and Westchester Counties describe the value of
the data and how they'll use it to inform instructional decisions.