Berkeley Heights District PARCC Results Are In: Preliminary Information Shared


BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The results of PARCC testing are now in. Assistant Superintendent Scott McKinney and the school administrators presented the results at last week's board meeting to share information to help parents understand what an individual score report looks like and how to interpret the results. McKinney further explained how the district plans to use the data -- to help support the students, to improve the schools and the instruction the students receive. 

PARCC is an abbreviation for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It is a consortium of states that collaboratively developed a common set of assessments to measure student achievement in math and English up to 12th grade, and preparedness for college and careers, according to the state of New Jersey Department of Education.The other states involved are Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Rhode Island, plus the District of Columbia.

The PARCC testing replaced NJASK and HSPA, and McKinney explained the tests are different and can not be compared. 

Sign Up for E-News

He also stressed that the presentation is of preliminary results and the district does not have all the information. Further presentations will be scheduled when comparative results of neighboring towns are received. "When those results come in, we can plan to present to the board when we create the data dash board," said McKinney.

The tests are taken in two sections -- a Performance Base Assessment and an End of Year Assessment. The scores were combined for one grade in Math and English Language Arts.

The PARCC questions required students to use a higher level of critical thinking, explained McKinney. "We expect greater information and should be able to support our students with that information," he said. The test is graded in a five level system --  level one being not meeting grade level expectations to level five is exceeding grade level expectations. [Level four and five are considered "proficient."] 

The state has been clear on how districts should be using this data. The PARCC assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and were created to measure students' ability to apply their knowledge of concepts rather than memorizing facts, according to the state Department of Education.

"It is important for us to be using multiple measures to evaluate, assess and determine the needs of our students," said McKinney, adding, "a test doesn't define our students. It is important to use this in combination with all the other measures and all the other  assessments  and classwork and teacher input -- So we know what our students need and how we can best support them going forward." 

Reporting on the "most basic information," McKinney explained, "we feel it's important to show parents how we did and to show in comparing Berkeley Heights' results to schools across the state. --- The overall scores were relatively good for the district. These results were not indicative of individual student results, but averages compiled from students' scores."

Berkeley Heights' testing results in English Language Arts/Literacy for Grades 3 to 11 showed that the district's scores exceeded the average scores across the state of New Jersey, and in most cases by double digits. About 78-percent of Grade 4 students who took PARCC met or exceeded expectations, while only 51-percent met or exceeded expectations statewide and 42-percent of the PARCC Consortium. 72-percent of the district Grade 4 students met or exceeded expectation in math compared to 40-percent statewide and 32-percent of the PARCC Consortium.

The presentation shows that each elementary school performed consistently with slight variations that are similar to the year to year fluctuations that occurred on previous assessments. 

English/Language arts is tested by grade level, math is assessed from grades 3 to 8 but students are assessed in Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra II in the year in which they take the course regardless of their grade level. Columbia students are taking higher lever math classes at a much higher rate than their peers throughout the state.

"Additional reports are expected to show more detailed results," said McKinney. The comparison to other similar districts in NJ will be available in January, and the district will then have a better idea of how the district did against like communities. 

Changes to expect for 2016 testing:  

  • There will be one testing window between April into May. 
  • The test time will be reduced by approximately 90 minutes. 
  • District anticipates receiving the results by end of June or early July.

The Berkeley Heights Board of Education will next meet on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at Columbia Middle School for their Reorganization and Regular meeting at 8 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green


Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website,


The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...