April 22, 2018

Common Core Learning Standards & State Assessments




State Education Department seeks public comment on new draft English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards

Sept. 27, 2016

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has released new draft New York State P-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards for public comment. According to NYSED, "The new draft standards are the culmination of a year-long effort to gather feedback from teachers and parents. Two committees comprised of more than 100 teachers and parents reviewed every standard and recommended changing 60 percent of the ELA and 55 percent of the mathematics standards." NYSED is accepting public comments on the draft standards through November 14. READ MORE

State Education Dept. releases 2016-17 school year test schedule

Jan. 28, 2016

The New York State Education Department released a schedule of state elementary and intermediate-level (grades 3-8) tests for the 2016-17 school year. DOWNLOAD SED TEST SCHEDULE (PDF)

School is cool at CCU

March 30, 2015

Who volunteers to go to school on a cold, dark night? Teachers and parents at Duanesburg Elementary School, that's who! More than 30 parents and guardians of students in kindergarten through 5th grade came together for Common Core University. The evening program was presented by DES faculty to acquaint parents and guardians with the curriculum - what their children are learning - under the new Common Core Standards and explain the positive outcomes of the Common Core curriculum. READ MORE


Resource: Glossary of tests

Tests, assessments, exams: teachers use them daily to gain valuable insight and feedback on what and how students are learning. DOWNLOAD GLOSSARY PDF

Resource: A History of New York State Standardized Tests

The Board of Regents were created by the state Legislature in 1784  to oversee all public schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums and educational corporations in the state. The first Regents exams were administered in 1865. A lot has happened since then. VIEW AN INFOGRAPHIC ON THE HISTORY OF STANDARDIZED TESTS IN NYS


What are Common Core Learning Standards?

The Common Core Learning Standards are a set of clear guidelines showing what students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 should be able to do in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. With these standards, students start by learning basic skills in early grades and build up to mastering more difficult skills and concepts—think of the process as moving up a “staircase of knowledge.”

By having common standards, all students across the state—and across the country—should have the opportunity to learn the same skills. In the past, every state had its own set of academic standards, meaning U.S. students were learning different skills and concepts at different rates. The Common Core Standards give all students an equal opportunity to learn at higher levels. In turn, pupils should graduate with a greater chance to succeed in college, careers and life.

The standards are designed to better prepare students to tackle college-level courses and gain skills they’ll need in current and future careers. In New York, fewer than 35 percent of students were graduating from with school with the skills they need to pass college courses. Employers in the state and nation report that newly hired staff do not have the basic reading, writing and math skills to do their jobs well. Changing these trends means changing the approaches we use to educate our children.

How do the standards affect what our children learn?
Under the standards, students are learning skills that are more in-depth, advanced and challenging than the content they learned in the past. These changes are called Common Core “shifts.”

For example, in English Language Arts (ELA), students:
> Read more non-fiction;
> Learn about the world by reading;
> Read more challenging material;
> Talk about reading using evidence gathered from the material read;
> Learn how to write based on what was read;
> Learn more vocabulary words.

In mathematics, students:
> Build on content and concepts learned in the previous grade level;
> Spend more time on fewer concepts (i.e., learn in a more in-depth way);
> Develop speed and accuracy in solving problems;
> Really understand math and how to use it in real-world situations;
> Prove mathematics knowledge by showing step-by-step how problems were solved.

Parents' Guide to Higher Learning Standards


In 2010, the New York State Board of Regents adopted rigorous, college and career readiness learning standards to make sure that all children are prepared to succeed once they graduate from high school. This guide from the SED is designed to help parents understand what the standards mean for their child, what happens in the classroom, and what they can do at home to help their child. - DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE (pdf)

Parents' Frequently Asked Questions About New York's Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Tests


The State Education Department prepared detailed questions and answers about New York's annual statewide testing program, including why SED conducts the tests, what parents can learn from their child's score and test results, how much time is spent testing, and what the state is doing to improve the testing program. READ THE STATE EDUCATION DEPT.'S FAQS

What is DCS doing?


Duanesburg remains committed to communicating with parents about the learning standards and exams, as well as what the student test scores mean. We will continue to work diligently to teach the skills that are measured by these exams through thoughtful and engaging lessons and activities. Over time, the new standards will strengthen our instructional programs and this year’s tests will serve as a baseline of student performance for the district to build on in future years.

More resources and helpful links


Visit for a variety of materials relating to the Common Core Learning Standards

Read Working with the "Shifts:" What Parents Can Do to Help their Children Learn (pdf)

Read Common Core State Standards: Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)