Friday, February 5, 2016

N.J.'s Opt-Out-of-PARCC-ers Cluster in Wealthy, Privileged Communities

Today’s NJ Spotlight crunches the opt-out PARCC data released recently by the N.J. Department of Education. Anti-testers are irate because the D.O.E. didn’t break down the numbers to their satisfaction; instead, any student who didn’t take the test, regardless of the reason, is aggregated into one field. Not too helpful for NJEA and Save Our Schools-NJ propaganda. Yet the breakdown  is illuminating.

According to NJ Spotlight's analysis, the N.J. public school with the greatest number of test-refusals was Northern Highlands Regional High School in Bergen County, which draws students from Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Saddle River and Upper Saddle River. According to the D.O.E. School Performance Report, 0.5% of Northern Highlands enrollment is economically disadvantaged and 94% is white or Asian (mostly white). Not a single student “opted-out” of the SAT’s, which the D.O.E. permits as a substitute assessment for graduation requirements.

NJ Monthly rates Upper Saddle River, one of Northern Highland’s sending districts, as “NJ’s most affluent town.” The median household income is $176,801 and the median cost of housing units is $898,600. For comparison’s sake, the median household income across N.J. is $70,165 and median housing cost is $307,700.

The opt-out rate in Northern Regional was 68.7%

The two other highest rates of test refusals were at  Ramapo-Indian Hills High School  (66.5%) and Pascack Valley Regional High School (54.5), also in Bergen County, which is one of America's wealthiest counties.  Ninety percent of Ramapo-Indian Hill’s enrollment is white and 1% is black. 1.2% of students are economically-disadvantaged. Everyone takes the SAT’s.  At Pascack Valley, 86% of students are white and 1% are black; 2.8% are economically-disadvantaged. 94.3% of students take the SAT’s.

In Franklin Hills, one of the sending districts to Ramapo-Indian Hills, the median household income is $145,877 and the median cost of housing units is $920,226.

You get the idea. While there were opt-outs in poorer and more diverse N.J. communities, the big numbers cluster in rich white towns. And that’s the elephant in the room that NJEA and SOS-NJ try hard to disregard. Their campaign against state  testing, which represents a sliver school assessments in schools, is one of privilege.

1 comment:

Julia said...

Your theory about the parent refusal movement being very small and all White and wealthy is completely shot down by the actual data:

Statewide, NJ had 135,000 non-testers for English Language Arts PARCC and some additional ones for the Math PARCC.

Assuming comparable rates of alternative test takers to the prior year's, PARCC refusals made up approximately 115,000 to 120,000 of the non-testers, which means New Jersey had the second highest refusal number nationally (NY - a much larger state - had the highest).

In terms of demographics:

17% of the English Language Arts non-testers were African American (vs 15.3% of the total 3rd to 11th grade public student population)

17.4% of the English Language Arts non-testers were Hispanic (vs 23.9%of the total 3rd to 11th grade public student population)

30% of the and English Language Arts non-testers were economically disadvantaged (vs. 37.7% of the total pre-K to 12 enrolled population - this data is not available by grade).

Even state controlled districts had high non-testing rates.

Newark 16%
Camden 14%
Paterson 10%
Jersey City 7%

So much for your all rich and White thesis, Laura.

This was a statewide rejection of PARCC by parents of all income levels and races.