by Carolee Adams
Ridgewood NJ, The NJ DOE released statewide PARCC results yesterday. In a press release the NJ DOE claimed, “New Jersey students continue to achieve substantial gains in the third administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments in math and English language arts (ELA).
From the first to the third year of PARCC testing, over 88,000 more students met or exceeded expectations across all grade levels in ELA, and nearly 70,000 more students met or exceeded expectations across all grade levels in math. Meeting or exceeding expectations on the assessments is one indication of whether or not a student is on pace to be college and career ready.
Since the first PARCC administration, thousands more New Jersey students at every grade level have now taken the assessments, providing more parents and schools the chance to gauge how children are progressing academically against New Jersey’s standards and compared to their peers.
While the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is publicly releasing the statewide results today, school districts received their initial data before the school year ended in June – the earliest release in New Jersey’s 40-year history of statewide assessments. This early look at test results allows school districts to use the information to support students and educators. For instance, the information can be used to identify students who are struggling in a particular subject, and help teachers to develop summer school and fall lessons based on areas of strengths and weakness that emerge from the data. Results at the individual district level and school level are expected to be publicly released in September, two months earlier than last year.”
“Our students, with the essential support of their educators and parents, continue to rise to the challenge of meeting New Jersey’s academic standards,” said Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington. “We remain committed to using a high-quality assessment, as required by federal and state laws, that quickly returns results to schools and provides an accurate picture of whether our students are developing the skills and knowledge they need to maximize their options beyond high school.”
The summary of New Jersey’s 2017 PARCC outcomes are available on the NJDOE website.
But a quick look at the results reveals just how awful they are:
1. 56% of students in grades 3 to 8 failed to reach proficiency on the Math test.
2. 47% of students in grades 3 to 11 failed to reach proficiency on the English test.
3. 54% of students who took the 10th grade English test were rated “not college or career ready.” This test determines if students can graduate.
4. Nearly 60% of students who took the Algebra 1 test were rated “not college or career ready.” This test also determines if students can graduate.
5. Fewer than 30% of students who took Geometry were rated “college and career ready.”
6. Fewer than 30% of students who took Algebra 2 were rated “college and career ready.”
With its credibility on PARCC in tatters, it’s not surprising the DOE tries to frame the latest PARCC results as a success. For starters, the PARCC test has changed in each of the 3 years it has been given, so it’s impossible to compare results from one year to another. Second, the number of students refusing the test is still significant, notwithstanding the DOEs intense pressure on districts to force students to take the test.
NJs students are not failing PARCC; PARCC is failing NJs students!