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Ridgewood BOE Attempts to Clear the Air on PARCC Tests


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, In December, the NJ Appellate Court struck down the PARCC graduation requirement because the high school PARCC multi-year, multi-test requirement did not align with the state law’s graduation requirement of one 11th grade test.  The state has until today, February 11th , to respond to the court and the Education Law Center’s request to maintain the current pathways to graduation for the 2019 through 2022 graduates.

Continue reading Ridgewood BOE Attempts to Clear the Air on PARCC Tests
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Appellate Court Strikes Down New Jersey’s PARCC Graduation Testing Rules

April 20, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey struck down the New Jersey Department of Education’s (DOE) regulations designating the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) end-of-course exams as the requirement for obtaining a high school diploma.

The Court held that the current rules violated provisions of the Proficiency Standards and Assessments Act (Act). This statute, enacted by the Legislature in 1979 and amended in 1988, authorizes the DOE to administer a single, eleventh-grade test in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics to determine proficiency under state curriculum standards for graduation.

“Even before the regulations were enacted in 2016, we urged the Department of Education to withdraw these rules because they clearly violate state law. Today’s ruling vindicates our position,” said ELC Senior Attorney Jessica Levin. “We are ready to work with the Commissioner, the State Board of Education and the Legislature to respond to this ruling in a manner that complies with governing law and reflects sound education policy.”

Key elements of the Court’s ruling include:

  • The current rules violate the Act because they require PARCC ELA 10, administered in tenth grade, and Algebra I, which may be taken in any high school grade or earlier, instead of an eleventh-grade graduation test.  The Court held that “to the extent the regulations required testing of non-eleventh-grade students, they are contrary to the Act and are invalid.”
  • Administering multiple end-of-course exams for graduation contravenes the Legislature’s intent that a single graduation test be administered to eleventh-grade students.
  • The regulations do not fulfill the Act’s mandate that students be provided retesting opportunities on the designated graduation test.
  • The Act requires the DOE to give students access to a non-standardized test as a graduation alternative. The Court ruled the Act “compels DOE to provide for alternative methods of assessing proficiency other than through PARCC testing or any other standardized testing process.”

“The court struck down a graduation testing regime that was unfair to students and their families,” said Jeanne LoCicero, ACLU-NJ Legal Director.” We look forward to working with the State on new regulations that will comply with the law and remove barriers that disproportionately burdened poor students and English language learners.”

The court made clear that while the DOE may decide what test to use, “the regulations violate the Act to the extent they specifically authorize multiple tests administered in grades other than the eleventh grade.” The Court stayed its judgment for 30 days to permit the DOE to seek further review by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

The lawsuit challenging the regulations was brought by the Latino Action Network, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey, the Paterson Education Fund, the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, and Education Law Center (ELC). The groups are represented by ELC and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ).

More information about this lawsuit is available from the Education Law Center.

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PARCC Refuseniks Win Major Court Victory


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, a New Jersey Appellate court has handed the PARCC Refuseniks a major victory . New Jersey’s Department of Education rules that force students to pass PARCC tests before graduating from high school has been declared invalid.

A panel of state appellate court judges on Monday struck down the requirement that students must pass state exams in Algebra I and 10th grade English, saying that the rules put into place in 2016, don’t match a state law that requires students to pass just a single test in 11th grade in order to graduate.

The ruling will not take effect for 30 days, giving the state Department of Education time to appeal to the state Supreme Court if it wants, the judges wrote. If the decision holds, though, it will allow students to graduate without having passed the controversial and unpopular exams.

According to anti PARCC activist Carolee Adams the, “Set aside by the courts, and not by the Governor’s pre-election statement that he would “End PARCC Day One”, we still await a possible appeal from the NJDOE. If the Governor will now claim it his victory, that he might, he could still help by reining in his Secretary of Education to dismiss any appeal. What a terrible waste of precious time, money, and education this has caused. “

 She also thanked the” Education Law Center and all of us who continued to fight this abominable, uber-expensive test that disrespected parental rights, ignored common sense, and dumbed down the education of New Jersey’s student . “

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Senate President Sweeney and Senator Ruiz Call reducing the PARCC assessment to only five percent of teacher evaluation a victory for special interests and a huge step backward towards a better public education

REA, ridgewoood teachers

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senate President Sweeney and Senator Ruiz Joint Statement on NJ Department of Education Announcement to Reduce PARCC Evaluation Weights

“As we approach the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year, we are deeply disappointed that the administration is walking away from New Jersey’s students by reducing the PARCC assessment to count for only five percent of a teacher’s evaluation. These tests are about education, not politics.

Continue reading Senate President Sweeney and Senator Ruiz Call reducing the PARCC assessment to only five percent of teacher evaluation a victory for special interests and a huge step backward towards a better public education

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Reader says Rejecting PARCC is and has been an absolute imperative for years now

Ridgewood High School class of 2016

Well, rejecting PARCC is and has been an absolute imperative for years now. Don’t interrupt the iron triangle comprising the craven teachers union, the unabashedly corrupt educational establishment, and the paleoliberal progressive state government apparatchiks, when the same is doing something right for a change (even if by mistake).

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Moving Away From PARCC in Jersey could take years


July 12,2018

Carolee Adams from the  Stop Common Core in New Jersey.

Ridgewood NJ, Moving Away From PARCC in Jersey could take years.
From my perspective, the only positive of PARCC was that it mobilized the formerly silent majority of parents to actively voice their imperative opposition to the dumbing down of their children’s education; disrespect to parental rights; and at a huge, needless, wasteful cost to taxpayers.
Further, in my humble opinion, impediments like these continue to delay our desired move away from PARCC:
1. A Pearson contract already signed.
2. The less than cooperative pushback from NJ State Senator Theresa Ruiz (D), Chair, Senate Education Committee and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D). Why? Only a guess. Pearson Education is located in Hoboken – a Democratic stronghold. Hoboken would not want to risk losing one of its key, tax-paying corporations.
3. The unnecessary interference of FedEd via ESSA. Why do we even need the USDOE when NJ is a donor state sending far more money to DC/USDOE than we receive in return?!
At a roundtable discussion. our group’s suggestions were 2 tests in K-8 (i.e. 2nd or 3rd and 7th), and 1 test in the sophomore year of high school. Regarding tests, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills was the one most mentioned for K-8. ACT/SAT seemed less popular than ever before regarding high school testing. Fair Test is usually a good resource for test information.

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Murphy Administration Takes First Steps Toward Transition Away From PARCC

April 20, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon

July 11,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  The Murphy Administration today announced the first steps in transitioning away from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and toward a new generation of statewide testing by issuing a report, detailing proposals for draft regulations and other upcoming changes in the 2018-19 school year.

At a press conference  in Atlantic City, Governor Murphy said he wants to take NJ out of PARCC student assessment testing.“PARCC’s high-stakes, high-stress system has been, I believe, a detriment to our students and our educators,” Murphy said.

Recommendations were collected by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) during a two-month, 21-county tour in which the Commissioner and staff traveled over 5,700 miles, held approximately 75 in-person sessions, three live webinars, and heard from more than 2,300 students, teachers, school administrators, education advocates and community leaders.

Speaker Coughlin lauded the move in a statement: “This is a step in the right direction. From the moment it was introduced, the PARCC was widely criticized by teachers, school administrators, parents and students for being overly confusing and taking up too much instructional time. We cannot evaluate student proficiency and base a student’s ability to graduate on a flawed system. Students should have to prove that they are ready for graduation, but not through an assessment as inadequate and problematic as the PARCC. I’m glad Gov. Murphy is reversing course on this, and clearing the way for a more effective and responsible approach to measuring student learning.”

“Because of a focused, concentrated effort to reach out to New Jersey residents and to give them a voice at the table, we are on a clear path away from PARCC,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “By making the transition in phases, we can ensure a smooth implementation in schools across the state and maintain compliance with current state and federal requirements.”

“A stronger, fairer New Jersey means one that prioritizes outreach and collaboration when making policy decisions,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “My staff and I went on a listening tour across the state to ensure that we understood the scope of interest, and we moved forward having considered the needs of students, educators, and broader community members in building the next generation assessment system by New Jersey, for New Jersey.”

The transition will be made in multiple phases. The first phase began with stakeholder outreach and culminates with the report and proposed short-term changes. The report provides an overview of the feedback received from interested stakeholders and the process used to achieve it.

The proposed changes for State Board review include:
Streamlining graduation requirements by reducing the number of required tests in high school from six to two.
Ensuring that educators and parents receive test data in a timely manner.
Providing flexibility for first-year English learners on the English language proficiency test.
Additional changes not requiring State Board approval include:
Reducing the length of testing for all grades by approximately 25 percent.
Reducing the weight of the assessment on teacher evaluations.
More details regarding the changes can be found in the report and draft regulations.
Beginning this summer and occurring over the course of the 2018-19 school year, the NJDOE will be launching the second phase of assessment outreach in New Jersey, focusing on the more complicated questions and issues with implementation that we encountered during the listening tour. More information about Phase 2 will be made available over the next few months.

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PARCC Tests May Finally be On the Way Out


March 27,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, One bright spot in education policy changes . Governor Murphy told audiences during his campaign that he would end PARCC tests “day one,” a promise that could not be kept due to state and federal requirements to use assessments to measure student progress and evaluate schools.  It would be unrealistic to think that PARCC assessments would be eliminated this spring with no plan to replace these state tests.  Acting Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet issued a memo on March 6 to school districts informing them that he will establish an advisory group to study the next generation of assessments and schedule a listening tour to meet with students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members in every county.

Commissioner Repollet affirmed his commitment to transition away from the PARCC tests and to improve NJ’s assessments. Understanding that this will take time, the PARCC tests will be administered this spring as planned.

Repollet stated that “ There are many issues to take into consideration when transitioning an assessment system, including the amount of time needed to procure a new vender, the fiscal and operational impact of assessments, and continued alignment of our NJ Student Learning Standards.  Additionally, as state and federal law require all states to use assessments as one method to gauge and compare progress of students and student groups and to evaluate how schools support learning, we need to ensure our next generation of assessments provides a fair and accurate picture of student progress towards the mastery of the skills we expect them to achieve.”

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PARCC?ACT Test Ridgewood

October 18,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, its that’s time of the year and once again the Ridgewood School District is reporting it’s overall success against the standardized test . While we have never been a big fan of standardized tests , we realize that in life there are many that must be overcome to meet licensing requirements , degrees and career requirements.

I guess for the non believers the best that can be said is that you need to excel on standardized test  to gain entrance to top universities and or career vocations.

Assistant Superintendent Ms. Stacie Poelstra gave an overview of results of the spring 2017 PARCC testing and also spoke about upcoming changes to the science assessments coming in spring 2018. Overall, Ridgewood students did very well, indicating performance at a high level. The district utilizes the data to inform best practices to identify and allocate resources towards areas for improvement to meet the needs of the students.

In 2015, New Jersey adopted the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) to replace HSPA and previous assessments in the elementary and middle school in language arts and mathematics.

Students took PARCC English Language Arts and Literacy Assessments (ELA/L) in grades 3 – 11.
Students took PARCC Mathematics Assessments in grades 3 – 8 and End of Course Assessments in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.
Students in grades 4 and 8 took the NJASK in Science.
Students who completed a biology course took the New Jersey Biology Competency Test
A new science assessment, replacing the NJASK and NJBCT, will be administered in spring 2018 and will be aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science.


Level 1: Not yet meeting grade-level expectations
Level 2: Partially meeting grade-level expectations
Level 3: Approaching grade-level expectations
Level 4: Meeting grade-level expectations
Level 5: Exceeding grade-level expectations


Top take aways :

1)Ridgewood students across the district continue to perform at a very high level in all standardized assessments.
2)Analysis of pertinent data is ongoing and is used to inform curricular decisions and advance instructional practice.
3) We will continue to adapt to new testing requirements as outlined by the New Jersey Department of Education, and will be as proactive as we can in communicating with all stakeholders regarding changes to the state’s mandated testing protocols.


Click here to access the presentation.,%20Instruction,%20&%20Assessment/2017%20state%20testing%20report.pdf

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New Jersey Department of Education Puts Positive Spin on Statewide PARCC results


August 2,2017

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!