This was the third year that New York State third through eighth graders took the Common Core state tests in English and math. Like those two previous years, the scores were far from ideal. As was the case throughout the state, in Saugerties two-thirds or more students were deemed not proficient in either subject, receiving scores of either one or two out of four. Following another trend across the state, students performed more poorly on the English exams than on the math exams. Across the board, over 70 percent of students in grades three through eight were deemed not proficient in English, with the those that fared the worst in seventh grade, where only 15.8 percent of students received passing scores.
Across the state, there were some improvements in math scores, with a passing rate that increased from 31.4 percent in 2013 to 36.2 percent in 2014 and 38.1 percent in 2015. This upward trend bore out in Saugerties, where all grades except fourth and seventh improved their passing rates in math. In English, the story was a bit different. Statewide, the scores stayed flat. They have barely moved from an average passing rate of 31.1 percent in 2013 to 30.6 percent in 2014 and 31.3 percent in 2015. In Saugerties, with the exception of third grade, every other grade tested did more poorly on the English test than they had in 2014.
Saugerties fared slightly better than some local Ulster County districts. In Kingston, for instance, a whopping 99.2 percent of eighth grade students were deemed not proficient in math, compared to 79.2 percent in Saugerties.
Those districts in Ulster County with high opt out rates, such as New Paltz and Onteora, both of which had opt out rates of 62 percent according to New York State Education Department, saw slightly higher scores than did Saugerties, which had an opt out rate of 22 percent. These districts, in fact, saw half or more of their students receive scores of three or four on some math tests, including fourth and eighth grade math in Onteora and fifth grade math in New Paltz.