State data shows increases in PARCC performance, but majority fail


NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Recently published scores for PARCC standardized testing ​have good news and bad news.

The New Brunswick Public School District made gains in overall test scores since 2015,​ yet ​a majority of students still failed in each grade.

The lowest passing rate was in Grade 10 Geometry, where only 4.9 percent of test takers met or exceeded expectations. In second place for lowest test score was Grade 11 Algebra II, which had a 9.8 percent passing rate.

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One of the largest drops was in Grade 8 ELA, where 21.2 percent of students passed in 2017 compared to 33.8 percent the year before.

Grade 11 ELA had the largest percentage of students passing, 39.4 percent, followed ​by ​34.7​ percent​ of students in Grade 10 passing ELA. Grade 5 ELA also saw substantial jump in the passing rate, from 18.4 percent in 2016 to 30.6 percent in 2017.

Students can receive one of five scores. Those with a score of ​"​four"​ or "five" are grouped as meeting expectations for their grade level. Those with a score of ​"​three​"​ are marked as “approaching” their grade level, while students with a ​"​one​"​ or ​"​two​" are marked as needing significant improvement.

PARCC, short for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is given each spring to students in grades 3 through 11.

The test was first rolled out in 2015 and was heavily criticized by the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

While on the campaign trail New Jersey Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Phil Murphy has promised that he would do away with PARCC.

New Brunswick Superintendent of Schools Aubrey Johnson did not comment on the test scores, but a spokesperson for the district said ​they ​will be discuss​ed​ at the school board meeting scheduled for Oct. 17, 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the New Brunswick High School, 1000 Somerset Street.

Below are the percentage of students in each grade who met or exceeded expectations

English Language Arts

  • Grade 3: 20.3 %
  • Grade 4: 25.6 %
  • Grade 5: 30.6 %
  • Grade 6: 18.2 %
  • Grade 7: 30.4 %
  • Grade 8: 21.2 %
  • Grade 9: 25.1 %
  • Grade 10: 34.7 %
  • Grade 11: 39.4 %


  • Grade 3: 28.7 %
  • Grade 4: 22.6 %
  • Grade 5: 27.1 %
  • Grade 6: 13.1 %
  • Grade 7: 16 %
  • Grade 8: 11.3 %
  • Algebra I (Grade 9): 16.2 %
  • Geometry (Grade 10): 4.9 %
  • Algebra II (Grade 11): 9.8 %

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