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Education officials optimistic despite low test scores

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Results were released this week on New York State math and reading tests for grades 3 to 8.

Fewer than 30 percent of public school children passed the exams last year.

The drop is significant. It follows the implementation of higher standards known as the Common Core which most states now use.

60 percent of students in those grades passed the math exam in 2011 and 47 percent passed in reading.

"The Common Core is a set of standards developed by a group of outstanding educators based in Washington with a lot of direction from all 50 states," said NYS Board of Regents Chancellor Merry Tisch.

Student growth on the tests is also now a universal factor in teacher and principal evaluations that New York requires from each of its 700 districts.

The results are angering some parents concerned about their child's chances of being accepted to the high schools and colleges of their choice.

"The issue is it's a process. In the next 4-5 years, you'll see an enormous focus on preparing teachers to teach to the higher standadrs. To back away from the truth, to allow our students to not be able to compete in a 21st century economy is the wrong thing to do," said Tisch.

"In NYC, we started the process three years ago. For this coming year, we've added another $100M on professional development. Our teachers have done an enormous job in incorporating the new teaching style. It's not teaching to the test it's having the students understand the concepts," said NYC Schools Cancellor Dennis Walcott.

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