Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Economic Status
What does this measure?
The percent of students tested who scored at level 3 or above—meeting or exceeding the state standard—on the Grade 8 Math exam, broken down by students’ economic background. The test is scored by placing a student's performance in one of four levels.
Why is this important?
The middle school math examination serves as a checkpoint for high school preparation. Performance on this exam can help predict high school success in math.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
In 2010, 45% of low–income eighth–graders passed the math exam, compared to 65% of other eighth–graders in Cayuga. In Seneca, 41% of low–income eighth–graders passed, compared to 63% of other eighth–graders. The difference between passing rates for low–income students and other students was not as large in Cayuga and Seneca as it was at the state (excluding NYC), where the passing rate for low–income students was 37%, compared to 70% for other eighth–graders. Performance of low–income students in Cayuga and Seneca was similar to comparison counties, which ranged from 37%–49%, with the exception of Onondaga (27%). However, performance of other students in Cayuga and Seneca was below that of comparison counties, which ranged from 65%–78%.
Between 2009 and 2010, all six counties and the state saw drastic declines in performance as a result of the state changing the threshold for passing the exam.
Notes about the data
In 2010, the state raised the threshold for passing, requiring students to answer more questions correctly. This came after research indicated the state tests were not accurately assessing students’ current skills or likelihood of succeeding at the high school and college levels. The revision impacts the comparability of test results year to year.
Students eligible for free or reduced–price lunch are considered low–income. Test results for small groups of students were not disclosed to protect student privacy.