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Common Core Learning Standards and New York State Tests

In 2013, the New York State Education Department changed the basis for statewide tests in English Language Arts and math to Common Core Learning Standards. Consequently, the tests and the instruction leading up to the test are different. The City School District of Albany, like public school districts throughout the state, is preparing for the spring 2017 state tests for students in grades 3-8.


Here are the dates for this year's ELA, math and science exams:

  • ELA -- March 28-30

  • Math -- May 2-4

  • Science -- Students in grade 4 and grade 8 take this exam in two parts:

    • The performance (lab) part of that exam will be given on one day determined by each building principal between May 24 and June 2.

    • All students in grades 4 and grade 8 will take the written portion of the state science exam June 5.

  • Algegra Regents -- Students taking advanced math in grade 8 will take the Algebra 1 Regents exam June13.

    • Please note that these students do not also have to take the state math exam in May.

For information about this year's testing in multiple langues, please follow these links:

عربى     Arabic

پښتو   Pashto

Spanish   español Burmese 


As this year’s tests approach, please keep in mind that our primary goal is to raise the achievement of all students and, in so doing, close the achievement gap. In order to do this, we must have a well-designed curriculum, exceptional teaching and an assessment program that allows us to measure and personalize student learning to meet every child's needs.


All of New York’s statewide exams are designed to measure how well students are mastering the learning standards that guide classroom instruction. The state’s goal is to help ensure that students are on track to graduate from high school with the critical-thinking, problem-solving and reasoning skills needed for success in today’s world. No single test provides a complete picture of a child’s abilities. But when combined with grades, classroom activities, unit quizzes and tests, and district-level assessments such as NWEA, the annual state tests can provide important information about a child’s academic progress.


We encourage all of our students to do their very best on everything they do in school, including these annual state tests. Parents and guardians can support their children by making sure the get plenty of sleep the night before each test, and starts the day with a healthy breakfast.


Please follow this link for answers to additional questions about the 2017 state exams.


Other exams the State Education Department issues annually include:

  • Regents exams – high school exams that measure ability in English, math, science, social studies and foreign language.

  • New York State English-as-a-Second-Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) exams – these tests measure the progress of English-language learners from kindergarten through grade 12.

Academic Intervention Services (AIS)

Due to the new levels of rigor in the 2013 Common Core-aligned ELA and math exams, the percentage of students achieving "proficiency" (Level 3 or Level 4 on the four-step scoring rubric) dropped statewide. In response, the New York State Education Department changed the requirements for Academic Intervention Services (AIS), providing school districts more flexibility in meeting the needs of students.


All school districts are required to provide AIS to students whose scores on the ELA and math exams fell below specified levels, which are in the range of high Level 2. In addition, districts are required to develop a uniform process for determining whether or not students who scored above the level for required services, but below Level 3 (“proficiency”) will receive AIS supports. 


Visit the EngageNY website

In the City School District of Albany and across New York, district administrators, principals, teachers and BOCES are working hard to implement Common Core standards and instruction into their classrooms and schools. Watch this video illustrating how Common Core instruction is happening in classrooms across the state.


We invite you to follow these additional links to take advantage of these resources to learn more about the Common Core standards and the changes in the state tests:

Link to Board of Ed page Link to Directory page Link to Our Schools page