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Reader says New SAT Curve Will Unfairly Hurt Ridgewood Students


“This change to the SAT grading on a curve will unfairly hurt Ridgewood ……
Why any parent from Ridgewood would have their kids take the SAT knowing the scores will be curved against them is beyond me. I would guess a move to the ACT replacing the SAT will accelerate as parents and students realize this.”

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Ridgewood High School Scores High in SAT Tests


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, most parents feel the SAT test is one of the most important tests high school students will take. This year the state’s graduating class of 2018 posted an average score of 542 in reading and 543 math, a total of 1,085 out of 1,600, according to state data. The average score nationally in 2018 was a 1,068.

Continue reading Ridgewood High School Scores High in SAT Tests
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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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The NJ Board of Education’s choice of PARCC as a HS graduation requirement is an overreach by the executive branch that the Legislature must correct

Sarah Blaine

On March 16, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed ACR-215, which is a resolution declaring that the state Board of Education’s new regulations requiring students to pass the PARCC Algebra 1 and the 10th grade PARCC English Language Arts tests to graduate from high school are “inconsistent with legislative intent.”

The existing law requires a comprehensive 11th grade test (which these two PARCC tests, neither of which is generally administered in 11th grade, are not). The resolution will not stop New Jersey’s schools from having to offer PARCC each year, but if adopted by the state Senate as well, it is a step toward ensuring that students will not have to pass PARCC to graduate from high school.

With this resolution, the Assembly took the first step in one process by which our New Jersey legislators can check the authority of our governor and his appointees (in this case, the state Board of Education): invalidating regulations that our Legislature determines are “inconsistent with legislative intent.” In English, that means that if the Legislature passes a law, and the executive branch decides to ignore the law and do something different, the Legislature can tell the executive branch: “No, you’re wrong, please go back to the drawing board.” Because this is a check on the executive branch’s authority, the governor’s signature is not required.

As at least 180,000 New Jersey students demonstrated by refusing to take PARCC tests in 2015 and 2016, opposition to PARCC testing is widespread. But leaving the substantive issues surrounding the PARCC test aside, important as they are, ACR-215 and its senate companion resolution, SCR-132, are about governance.  That is, in considering these resolutions, the key question our legislators must decide is whether they are willing to allow Gov. Chris Christie and the Christie-appointed Board of Education to openly ignore New Jersey law.

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State Releases PARCC Scores for Ridgewood Schools


November 21,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,The Staate New Jersey released the latest PARCC standardized test results for every public school across the state on Wednesday, giving Ridgekwood parents a chance to see how their schools performed in math and English in grades 3-11.

Level 1: Not Yet Meeting Requirements
Level 2: Partially Meeting
Level 3: Approaching Expectations
Level 4: Meeting Expectations
Level 5: Exceeding Expectations

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PARCC test results explained



During Monday’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting, Assistant Superintendent Stacie Poelstra made a presentation about the performances of Ridgewood students in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests.

She noted that Ridgewood did very well, explaining that the district’s students “far exceeded the cross state (the eight states that still partake in PARCC testing) and New Jersey’s passing grades.”

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Ridgewood Parents Feel Ill Served by PARCC testing

May 2,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ , Residents of school aged children are continuing to question concerned  a week of interrupted instruction because of the seemingly useless PARCC tests. 7 days of testing fro 8th graders to get a reading and a math score really? If our kids can take an SAT for college admission in under 3 hours, what is the State of NJ doing? Testing is not teaching!

Maybe this is another reason we have so many “PARCC refuseniks” the lengthy tests take to much away from learning time?

Many teachers think PARCC a waste of time and needs to be eliminated. Teachers know better than anyone the progress of their students better than any testing can determine. Education is a local issue ,state and federal mandates are in no way indicative of what children’s specific needs are in a specific school district.

We learned this from “No Child left behind” , when it had more of a negative impact  on a high performing district like Ridgewood .
The current PARCC tests seem to be pushing education to the lowest common denominator instead of encouraging individual growth and advancement.

Perhaps it’s time we move on from State mandated testing of any kind and truly get down to the business of educating students. Maybe if we didn’t lose all this time on nonsense like this we could focus on important things like civics, grammar, real math (not common core crap) .

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The low down on PARCC tests ,the good ,the bad and the ugly


Frequently Asked Questions about the PARCC

1. Do parents have the right to opt their children out of the PARCC tests?

New Jersey does not have an “opt out” provision, but, as New Jersey State Board of Education President Mark Biedron pointed out at the January 7, 2015 State Board of Education meeting, “nobody can force a child” to take a test.(1)

On September 9, 2015, NJ Commissioner of Education David Hespe sent a memo to school districts on how to accommodate students whose families or guardians refuse PARCC. He said “school districts should be prepared in the event that students choose not to participate in the assessment program and adopt policies and procedures for the appropriate supervision and engagement of these students during administration of the assessment. The specific policies adopted by school districts regarding students not participating in the assessment program are entirely within the school district’s discretion, in consideration of each district’s school environment and available staffing and resources and recognizing that a statewide rule could not take into account these local circumstances. However, in developing these policies, districts should be mindful of ensuring appropriate student supervision and creating alternative options for student activity during the test period, so long as the testing environment is not disrupted and, in this regard, a sit and stare policy should be avoided.”(2)

Districts and charter schools may not require that students who refuse the PARCC tests miss school on the days that their classmates are taking PARCC.

Last spring, more than 230 districts allowed students whose families refused the tests to read or take part in an alternative activity. Please email to let us know how your district or charter schools is handling test refusals this spring.

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Standardized Tests like PARCC rob valuable instructional time from Ridgewood Students


Tests rob valuable instructional time

To The editor,

The PARCC tests are scheduled to be administered in Ridgewood starting in April. Given that Governor Christie has clearly stated that the Common Core State Standards have been eliminated in New Jersey, and given the fact that the PARCC exams test close adherence to the Common Core State Standards, it is hard to understand how the New Jersey Department of Education could possibly expect any thinking person to permit his child to sit for these exams.