Albany, NY — After successfully petitioning for the release of statewide ELA and math exam data for students in grades 3-8, the Empire Center has published the results. The data is searchable by school district, individual school, grade level and subject area.
The dataset was made available to the Empire Center Monday.
Historically, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) releases the results publicly in August or early September. This year, however, NYSED delayed release until prompted by an Empire Center Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request for the data — and a subsequent legal appeal of the agency’s initial decision to release the results by next January.
NYSED also posted the database file on its website, but not without its own flaws. Not only was the posting later than in prior years, the data itself was in database format only, instead of the more user-friendly Excel files posted in the past. Further, the database file bundles exam data with unrelated test results, including Regents exams.
The agency’s press release about the results also contains far less detail than it did in prior years, omitting numerous items included in the past, such as a summary overview of how students enrolled in traditional public schools performed relative to those in charter schools.
“We’re happy to make crucial educational data available to New Yorkers at long last — though NYSED certainly made us work for its release,” said Peter Warren, director of research at the Empire Center. “The FOIL process should not have been required to shake loose data routinely made available to the public well prior to this date. The fully formatted results will give long-delayed insight into the extent of learning loss that occurred in our state.”
Of note, NYSED released its data on the same day that the highly anticipated results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — including state-specific results — were long-scheduled to be released.
The exam data as posted on the Empire Center’s website is converted into a user-friendly format. When fully formatted, the results will be viewable by subgroup — including gender, race and socioeconomic status.
The Empire Center will also provide a substantive summary and interpretation of the results.
You can view the formatted data here.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.