The 2017 New York State Testing Results and 2016 TerraNova Testing Results in ELA and Math for Academies and Parish Schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn

Earlier this school year, the State Education Department released the results of the 2017 English Language Arts and mathematics tests.

Academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn once again surpassed the New York State and New York City public schools in all tested grades in English Language Arts as depicted in the comparative chart. More than half our students, 53.2% of diocesan students have met or exceeded the proficiency standards for English Language Arts by the time they reach Grade 8.

In the area of mathematics, diocesan students outperformed their counterparts by the time they reach eighth grade. Overall, the more time students are educated within our Catholic academies and parish schools, the more they progress.

To ensure that we focus on improvements that benefit all our students, the Office of the Superintendent for Catholic School Support Services is providing a comprehensive professional development plan to address improving math scores across all grade levels and to enhance our programs for our students.

Computer-based testing was offered for the first time on the 2017, operational state tests in ELA and Math. One of our academies successfully administered the computer-based assessments to one grade level and found the experience worthwhile. We will continue to utilize computer-based testing for the state’s testing program during this current school year.

In addition, principals and teachers received instructional reports for the 2017 state tests to help understand and guide instruction and classroom assessments during the current academic year. Parents received Score Reports which included a breakdown of their student’s performance in different skill areas within ELA and math. These reports help parents understand where their child is doing well and in what areas he or she may need additional support.

The state released 75 percent of the 2017 ELA and math, multiple-choice test questions that counted toward students’ scores and released 100 percent of the constructed-response questions. Principals and teachers can use the released information to examine student skills and identify where student learning is strong and where there are gaps. The released questions from the tests are available to the public at

The State Education Department, reported their 2017 statewide test refusal rate was approximately 19 percent of eligible test takers who did not participate in the 2017 tests. Within the Diocese of Brooklyn, approximately 2% of students did not participate in state testing.

The State Education Department has recently announced that they have reduced the number of testing days from three to two days for the ELA and math tests in the spring of 2018. These tests will also have fewer questions.


Looking toward the future, the State Education Department announced the adoption of the Next Generation Standards for ELA and Math with professional development taking place over the next three years.


2017 NYS ELA and Math Test Results

Grades 4, 6 and 8

Comparative Chart


Percentage of Students Scoring at Levels 3 and 4 (Students who met or exceeded the proficiency standards for their grade):


2017 NYS

Testing Program

New York State

(includes all Public and Charter Schools in NY State – no Nonpublic Schools data)

New York City

( only NY City Public Schools – no Charter Schools, no Nonpublic Schools data)

Diocese of Brooklyn

(Academies and Schools within the Diocese with appropriate grade levels tested)

Grade 4-ELA 41.2% 42.0% 48.0%
Grade 6-ELA 32.4% 32.3% 38.0%
Grade 8-ELA 45.5% 47.5 % 53.2%
Grade 4-Math 43.0% 40.0% 37.0%
Grade 6-Math 39.8% 36.1% 34.4%
Grade 8-Math 21.6% 24.2% 28.1%

Please Note: Percentages reported include all tested students (general education and students with disabilities as reported by New York State, New York City and Diocese of Brooklyn).


Students within the Diocese of Brooklyn are also tested every fall with the nationally normed test, TerraNova. The TerraNova: College and Career Ready Test, assesses students in a variety of subtests including: Reading, Language and Mathematics in conjunction with InView, the cognitive abilities test that measures aptitude.

Administration of the 2017 TerraNova tests has recently taken place in October and we are currently awaiting results. Principals and teachers have the ability to analyze classroom and individual student performance reports which contain valuable information to help guide them in evaluating their instructional program and to provide professional development opportunities for principals and teachers.

When testing in the fall, TerraNova is used as a diagnostic tool as it gives teachers time to remediate student and classroom weaknesses prior to state testing in the spring. In addition, TerraNova is considered an achievement test as reports provide longitudinal data to evaluate growth over time.

The chart below indicates the 2016 TerraNova results for academies and parish schools within the Diocese of Brooklyn for two major tested areas: ELA (Reading and Language subtests) and Mathematics. The results are reported in National percentiles which compares Diocesan students by grade level, to students in a national norm group or national sample. National ranks or percentiles range from the lowest (1) to the highest (99) performance nationally, with median or the middle performance defined as 50 NP (national percentile).

Unlike most tests where 50% is failing, the 50 NP is the national average. In other words, the 50 NP is the middle score and half of the students had scores above it and half below.

The Diocesan results for TerraNova are either at the national average of 50 NP or well above the national average and as high as 77 NP.

When reading the TerraNova chart below, you will notice that as students’ progress through grade levels, the national percentiles increase over time, which we can conclude, the longer students attend our academies and parish schools, the better their overall academic achievement. By the time Diocesan students reached eighth grade, they scored higher than 77 percent of students in the national norm group in ELA and 69 percent higher than the national norm group in Mathematics.

We are truly proud of the accomplishments of all our students, teachers and principals within our diocese and strive to provide continuous academic growth.


TerraNova Testing Program – Annual Diocesan Results – Reported in National Percentile (NP)

2016 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
ELA 57 NP 61 NP 65 NP 68 NP 75 NP 77 NP
2016 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
Math 50 NP 50 NP 56 NP 58 NP 60 NP 69 NP


Respectfully submitted by: Mrs. Diane Phelan, Associate Superintendent for Evaluation of Programs and Students




October 30, 2017