ELIZABETH, NJ – Amy Gil, the Board of Education’s director of research, evaluation and assessment, presented the results of the second year of PARCC testing at the special board meeting, Nov. 17, at the John E. Dwyer Technology Academy.
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, PARCC, is an annual year-end test in English language/arts, and mathematics in grades 3 to 8 and high school.
Although below state averages, the test results measured percentage increases from the first to the second year in all but two areas. There was a decline in sixth and seventh grade math scores. Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer explained that a new math program was introduced in those grades, and there was “a learning curve.” She said that this new program would improve future algebra scores.
In the area of language assessment, the third grade scores improved 17 percent; fourth grade, 21 percent; fifth grade, 16 percent; sixth grade, 20 percent; seventh grade, 26 percent; eighth grade, 30 percent; ninth grade, 26 percent; tenth grade; 58 percent; and eleventh grade, 34.3 percent.
In the area of math and science, the third grade scores improved 9 percent; fourth grade, 21 percent; and fifth grade, 17 percent. Scores for Algebra 1 increased by 28 percent; Algebra 2, 29 percent; and Geometry, 33 percent. Biology scores increased by 5 percent. In addition, Gil reported that the graduation rate was 81 percent.
In other board business, Superintendent Hugelmeyer announced that an independent auditor has assessed the amount owed in retro checks to teachers who worked without a contract for a year and therefore did not receive salary increases. “It is our intention to issue those retro checks before Thanksgiving,” she said.
Commissioner Jose Rodriguez responded to parent Cristina Moreira’s question about shortening the school day at high school level. Rodriguez explained that issue is being studied, but “It will take time. There are 4500 students and staff involved.”
The board approved the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum report that was open to public comment. QSAC is the Department of Education’s monitoring and evaluation system for public schools.