The following is the letter I shared with my Staff after the initial report came out from the NJDOE on the state-wide PARCC scores. In sum, everyone needs to RELAX.
As you may have read or heard, the State released PARCC state-level results yesterday afternoon. While many are not really surprised by what we saw, it’s still worth checking out. A couple of follow-up points:
- District/school-level results are expected within the next few weeks. These initial reports do not have any redacted information for subgroups that are too small to report. Therefore, we were advised to be careful about sharing the results publicly until the DOE provides us with the final version.
- The release of individual student reports will follow the school results; however, a timeline was not given. When these reports arrive, we will provide parents with an informational letter to help them understand the new information. As previously indicated, when we receive student results they will not be used for any placement purposes.
- This year’s PARCC results are considered baseline data that need to be analyzed to determine what uses might be appropriate. The DOE did provide us with some guidance documents and presentations that we are reviewing administratively and sharing as needed.
- ASK and PARCC results cannot be compared. For example, ASK used three proficiency bands and PARCC has five. You cannot try and combine PARCC bands into three sets to use in comparison with ASK.
- Standardized tests have a long history in public education. They are just one measure of our district, schools, and students. We need to keep this in mind as the results are shared.
- In the report, the Commissioner of Education states: “Now that the statewide results are in, I know our school leaders are taking the steps necessary, such as making adjustments to their curricula, targeting professional learning activities for teachers, and engaging parents and communities to ensure that all New Jersey students receive a world-class education.” With all due respect to the Commissioner, as the educational leader of our school district I have to say that we cannot begin “adjusting curricula or targeting professional learning activities” based on state-level results. We need some time to analyze from various perspectives our district and school results and then determine what adjustments are needed. Our district looks at multiple measures to make decisions regarding programs for our students and professional development for our staff.