But while district leaders touted those numbers, later in the meeting came damning data from last year’s PARCC tests [which measure college and career readiness].
The district hovered below or barely above 10 percent for meeting expectations on the tests, which were first administered last year.
For example in math, only 14 percent of third grade students who took the test met expectations. That was the only group to fare above 10 percent for the district in math. In Algebra II, none of Trenton’s 112 students who took that test met expectations.
Generally, Trenton students missed the state average by roughly 30 percent.
“I’m blown away by the fact that this is considered acceptable, regardless if it’s the state’s baseline, this isn’t anything to be celebrated,” board member D. A. Graham said at the meeting. “I’m shocked, honestly shocked by the low percentages. In some areas, we were zero.”
For English and literacy, Trenton students hovered in the teens for meeting expectations, with only the eleventh graders scoring a 20 percent. Again, Trenton students were averaging 35 percent below the state’s average.Education Law Center, NJEA, and Save Our Schools-NJ, lobbyists for stasis, fight furiously against using tests based on higher standards a graduation requirement because then Trenton students, as well those who attend low-standards districts, wouldn’t get diplomas. That’s a reasonable fear. But is the answer to continue to indiscriminately hand out the sheepskin or is the answer to elevate learning and teaching?
Labels: achievement gap, Trenton