BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Assistant Superintendent Scott McKinney and members of the district administrative team reported on the SAT, ACT, AP and PARCC test scores and the news is good.
The report was issued at the Oct. 12 meeting of the Board of Education. A summary of the Report of Student Achievement, provided in the slide show, which is almost 90 pages long, reported:
1. “SAT scores showed an improvement in score and participation, but more years of data are needed to identify trends on the newly released rSAT college entrance exam.
2. ACT scores have improved over time, along with the increase in participation. GLHS has hosted two dates for students to take the Pre-ACT. Over 70 students took advantage of this opportunity.
3. The AP program showed dramatic growth in student participation and student achievement.
a. Exposed over 130 students and parents to the AP program through ‘Engage, Explore, Excel.’” See Slide on page 18.
The SAT, which used to have three parts, with a top score of 2400; is now only two parts, each with a top score of 800, so comparisons are limited. The test was redesigned in March of 2016, so there is only limited data related to the new test, designated "rSAT."
The composite score for the GL Class of 2017 was 25.5 - the highest mark over the past five years. That’s 4.5 points higher than the national composite score and 1.6 points higher than the New Jersey score.
As for Advanced Placement exams for which a student who scores three or higher gets college credit, it’s all good news. In 2017, 270 students took a total of 732 AP tests. That’s an increase of 41 students taking the AP tests and 130 more tests than was taken in 2016. Not quite half, 48.5 percent of the students in grades 11 and 12 at GL, took an AP test and 242 of the 270 students received a grade of three or more.
Everyone taking the AP Calculus BC passed the test and social studies passing rates continue to be high. AP English scores are also high, even though more people are taking the test each year.
Specific details of the AP scores in various disciplines are available on the same slide show referenced above, on the Board of Education Website.
When it comes to the PARCC tests, there is improvement in grades 3 to 8, but participation is down at the high school, as is performance - although there are mitigating circumstances. Once a test crucial to graduation is passed, the student no longer has to take the PARCC test in that discipline.
Because of the changing graduation requirements that relate to PARCC, Freshmen, Sophomores are facing different standards than are members of the classes of 2018 and 2019.
Current Juniors and Seniors will have three pathways to graduate in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. – See slides on page 33 and 42 on the website.
The first pathway is to take and pass a PARCC test in each discipline, at a specific level, in grades 9 or 10 or 11.
The second pathway is to pass one of a variety of SAT, PSAT, or ACT or other specified tests with a specific grade for each.
The third pathway is to “meet the criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal” as necessary, for EAL and/or Mathematics.
The Class of 2020, current sophomores, can graduate by passing a PARCC test in ELA and/or Mathematic in Grade 9, 10 or 11.
There is a second pathway that involves taking and passing one of the alternate assessments in each discipline, as necessary, but that pathway “is only available if a student takes all PARCC tests associated with the high school level courses for which they were eligible and receive valid scores.”
The third pathway to graduation involves a portfolio appeal, in ELA or Mathematics, as necessary, but that pathway “is only available if a student takes all PARCC tests associated with the high school level courses for which they were eligible and receive valid scores.” See slide on page 43.
Current freshmen, members of the class of 2021, have two pathways. The first is to take and pass a PARCC ELA Grade 10 test in ELA and the PARCC Algebra I course in Mathematics.
The second pathway to graduate is to meet the criterial of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal in ELA and/or Mathematics, but that pathway “is only available if a student takes all PARCC tests associated with the high school level courses for which they were eligible and receive valid scores.” See slide on page 44.
In the appendix on the slide show, there are explanation of terms, more in depth scores, historical AP comparisons, and resources for parents.
In the spring, the report providing the comparison between Governor Livingston High School and other districts similar to GL will be provided.