Archives for the month of: August, 2013

Property Tax Cap Fiscal Years Beginning 2014 | Thomas P. DiNapoli

From The Torch:

Under the law passed in 2011, the cap on tax levies is set at the lesser of 2 percent or the rate of the growth in an “inflation factor,” calculated as the average monthly change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12-month period ending six months before the start of the fiscal year.

The actual cap will differ by locality, depending primarily on the amount of allowable exclusions for growth in the local property values. Localities also will be able to exclude the amount by which the change in pension contributions exceeds two percentage points. DiNapoli will be announcing 2014-15 contribution rates any day now.


The cap is more difficult for school districts to exceed, since school budgets (outside the “big five” cities) are subject to approval in a public referendum. Their cap is based on the average of 12 months ending in December — a number that won’t be known until mid-January. Based on current inflation trends, however, schools should also be ready to deal with a starting-point cap of less than 2 percent next year. This time around, their pension exclusion won’t kick in, so the average effective school tax levy cap will be much closer to 2 percent than it was in 2013-14.

Local tax cap drops to 1.66% for 2014 | E.J. McMahon | The Torch | August 16, 2013

UPDATE 9/19/2013: Our 8th-grade math scores are terrific. Will get a table up soon, but in the meantime, I’ve uploaded all scores for Westchester County Schools.

Per pupil spending:  $28,436 % Levels 1 & 2 % Levels 3 & 4
Grade 3 ELA 45% 55%
Grade 3 Math 39.8% 60.2%
Grade 4 ELA 25.4% 74.7%
Grade 4 Math 33.8% 66.1%
Grade 5 ELA 38.1% 61.8%
Grade 5 Math 38.1% 61.9%
Grade 6 ELA 25.9% 74.1%
Grade 6 Math 32.1% 67.9%
Grade 7 ELA 50% 50%
Grade 7 Math 39.6% 60.5%
Grade 8 ELA 43.2% 56.7%
Grade 8 Math 31.9% 68.1%

Irvington Scores | 2013 ELA and Mathematics

The tests don’t seem to have been released, but you can see sample questions below.  (Source: New York State Common Core Sample Questions).

UPDATE 8/31/2013:
Some Test Items have been released.

Also relevant: IUFSD’s 21-page Strategic Plan from September 2008, which deliberately omits a college-readiness goal. The administration and then-board were asked to include college readiness amongst the goals, and the answer was ‘no.’

Common Core Sample Questions

English Language Arts (ELA)


Grade 3 ELA (626KB) Grade 3 Math (420KB)
Grade 4 ELA (640KB) Grade 4 Math (520KB)
Grade 5 ELA (663KB) Grade 5 Math (440KB)
Grade 6 ELA (715KB) Grade 6 Math (524KB)
Grade 7 ELA (633KB) Grade 7 Math (542KB)
Grade 8 ELA (638KB) Grade 8 Math (283KB)

Image from What big drop in new standardized test scores really means
By Valerie Strauss, Published: August 7 at 5:00 am

And see:
School Performance
Common Core Sample Questions
Test Manuals for School Administrators and Teachers

New York Times | New York’s Common Core Test Scores August 8, 2013
Message from Commissioner King
Office of State Assessment
State Education Department Releases Grades 3-8 Assessment Results
Release of Data – August 7, 2013