PARCC’s Next Showing Will be to New Jersey’s Families and Students

John Mooney | November 19, 2015 | Education
Districts around NJ could receive results for kids in high school within next few days

PARCC (logo)
New Jersey families could start to receive their children’s scores on the new PARCC exams as soon as this week or next, as the Christie administration continues the slow rollout of the results of the controversial exam.

The state Department of Education this week alerted districts that it will be sending them the “Individual Student Reports” for every tested child, starting this week. Those reports are then to be mailed to the families, although there is no prescribed timeframe as to when that must happen.

This week districts will be receiving the reports for high school students, where the stakes are highest: Passing the test is one of the pathways for meeting the state’s graduation requirement.

The student reports for grades 3-8 will be mailed to districts next week, the state said. Districts themselves have been able to see the results electronically for a week, but had to wait to receive the hard copies for families.

When families get their results is not set in stone by the state, but districts are required to report the overall school data to the public at a local board meeting within two months.

Some districts may wait until after that presentation, while others may turn the reports around more quickly.

The Christie administration is not releasing the statewide school-by-school results until after those local meetings are held, likely in mid-January, officials said in the Tuesday memo to districts.

“The intent is for districts to have the opportunity to present the information at their local school board meeting prior to the release of the information by the department,” said the memo from Jeff Hauger, the state’s acting chief performance officer.

[related]The results may be sobering for a majority of families, as well as their districts. The new tests in language arts and math have clearly made the state’s annual testing more rigorous.

In statewide results released last month, only about half of the students met “expectations” as defined by the PARCC consortium, which this year includes seven states and Washington, D.C. In some grades and subjects, the so-called passing rate is as small as a quarter of students meeting expectations.

The state has continued to put out a flurry of information to help districts explain the new tests and what the results mean. This week, it was a “clarification” document as to who exactly is required to take the tests and when.

For instance, middle-school students who are already taking Algebra I or even geometry in Grade 8 must take the corresponding test for that subject, even if it is typically offered in high school. But in doing so, they will not need to take the grade 8 math test along with the rest of their peers.

In another case, newly arrived elementary school students to the United States will be exempt from the language arts test. But the same exemption will not apply to high school students, although they will receive language accommodations.