From: Eric Byrne

Date: April 12, 2018 at 2:45:00 PM

Subject: Day Two of New York State ELA Tests

Dear RCSD Families,
Today was the second and final day of testing for the New York State English Language Arts (ELA) tests. Today’s tests contained short and long answer questions based on text passages. We feel the tests administered today contained text passages that were above the appropriate comprehension level for many students taking the tests. Furthermore, the questions about the text passages were poorly constructed, making it difficult for students to comprehend what was being asked of them.

Students across all grade levels struggled to complete the tests, even with the unlimited time allowed by the State. Many students were distressed and expressed frustration to teachers and administrators, both during and after the tests.

We have assured students, and I want to remind parents and guardians, that these tests do not count towards a student’s record. They do not go into a student’s permanent file. The results will have no impact on student grades or class placement.

As educators in a school district that strives to provide a student-centered learning environment that is supportive and nurturing, we feel strongly that we should not be asked to place students in the kind of setting created by today’s section of the ELA tests. I will be communicating this, along with feedback about the tests from students, teachers, and principals, to the State Education Department.

As always, if you’d like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to reach out to me at 914-967- 6100, ext. 6271, or via email to, or to Sheryl Goffman, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, at ext. 6207, or via email to


Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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