Democratic state Sen. Brad Hoylman in a letter sent to the state Education Department called on Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to release standardized test scores for math and English language arts.

In the letter to Elia, Hoylman writes the delay could make life difficult for students in the midst of applying to middle school and high schools.

“The varying deadlines, open-houses and tours make navigating the middle and high school selection process demanding enough,” he wrote. “Students and parents cannot be reasonably expected to make these arrangements in a vacuum without knowing if their test scores align with the admissions criteria of their chosen schools. This problem is compounded for lower-income families who cannot afford the resources that help many parents and students navigate the difficult process of public middle and high school applications.”

Preliminary data on the scores is provided to schools in late August in order to guard against any errors, SED officials said. This is meant to ensure that parents receive statewide data as a reference for when they receive their child’s scores.

The full data on school and student scores will be released at the same time to ensure both accuracy and consistency, the department said. The data is set to be released later this month.

“After hearing concerns from school leaders, we moved quickly to expedite providing preliminary data to districts so they would have it to help make instructional decisions before the start of the school year,” said SED spokeswoman Emily DeSantis. “As is standard practice, all school data and state data will be released at the same time to ensure accuracy and consistency. We are in the process of finalizing and compiling the data to prepare it for release statewide later this month.”

The Board of Regents had previously discussed the delay at its June meeting last year as well as the January meeting this year.

“At its June 2017 meeting, the Board of Regents voted to reduce the number of sessions of the grades 3-8 State assessments in ELA and mathematics from three days each to two. This change took effect beginning with the assessments administered in spring 2018 and applied to grades 3-8,” SED said at the time. “The Department shortened the tests in a manner that still provides for the valid and reliable measurement of student achievement of the standards. As a result of the decision, New York State educators will review the performance standards this summer. Given the need for this standards review, the statewide scores will be released in mid-to-late September.”

Letter to DOE Re Test Scores by Nick Reisman on Scribd