A Letter from Joel Klein to Parents of Standardized Assessment Students

Dear Parent or Guardian:

As you may know, the State earlier this week released the results of the annual New York State math and English Language Arts (ELA) exams for students in grades three through eight.

I am sure you are anxious to see your child’s results. In the fall, all families will receive individualized reports from the State with their child’s test scores. This report will help you understand areas where your child needs work and will show you how your child is doing compared to other students.

Additionally, if your child was not promoted to the next grade in June and is currently enrolled in summer school, you will receive a letter later this week letting you know if your child still needs to take the citywide ELA and math exams in August. This decision will be based on your child’s final State test scores. If we had today’s State test results at the time summer school decisions had to be made, additional students would have qualified for summer school. Since these results were not available in time to place these students in summer school, they will instead receive additional support during the school year to ensure they master the content and skills necessary to succeed in their current grades.

If you prefer to get your child’s scores in advance of the start of school, we are making scores available to parents online. Beginning Monday, August 16, you will be able to access your child’s test scores through the DOE’s ARIS Parent Link website, which provides personalized student data.

  • If you have visited the site before, or if you have your child’s student ID number and a temporary password, go to https://www.arisparentlink.org to log in. Once there, click on your child’s student profile to see your child’s results on the 2010 State tests.
  • If you do not currently have ARIS access, see the end of this letter for more details.

As you know, we have made dramatic progress over the last several years. But this year, the State changed the way the tests were graded. As you may have heard, the State now holds students to a considerably higher bar compared to previous years. As a result, a score that last year was high enough to earn a rating of 3, or “proficient,” may only have earned a rating of 2, or “basic,” this year. The tougher grading system resulted in a significant drop in overall ratings across the entire State and here in the City. However, despite the drop in overall ratings, our students this year generally earned ELA and math scores that were consistent with last year’s results and, in some cases, were even better than last year.

Mayor Bloomberg and I applaud the State’s effort to continue to raise the bar and set higher standards for our students. Earlier this month, the State adopted new national Common Core standards, which will begin to influence what’s taught in schools. These standards will introduce more writing, problem solving, and critical thinking and help teachers and principals better connect learning across different subject areas and grade levels. Principals and teachers this summer are already working together to map out how these new standards will begin to affect their work with your child next year.

I expect each school in the City to analyze closely the State exam results and make the appropriate adjustments to curriculum and supports for students so that they can reach and eventually exceed these higher standards. I also expect each school to work with you and your child to identify areas of proficiency and strength, and areas that require extra support and attention.

Make no mistake about it—we have already made tremendous progress, but we realize we must do even better. We will not give up until every child is receiving a high-quality education and until every graduating student is ready for college or a career. Looking back, and looking ahead, I’ve never been more hopeful that we can reach this goal.


Joel I. Klein

Instructions for accessing ARIS Parent Link if you do not have your login information:
Your child’s school can provide this information to you in September, or schools that are open over the summer are able to provide you with your login information now. In addition, during the week of August 16, you can visit a location in each borough to get your ARIS Parent Link login information. Beginning Monday, August 2, specific locations will be posted at schools.nyc.gov/Accountability/resources/aris. Please note that because ARIS Parent Link contains confidential student information, you will need to provide a photo ID to receive login information.


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