Monday, February 22, 2016

PARCC Opt-Out Rates Skew High-Income

Today NJ Spotlight has a list of the top ten high schools “with the highest percentage of students absent” for PARCC tests. Save Our Schools-NJ propaganda to the contrary, many of these schools have very low numbers of students designated as economically-disadvantaged.  After all, New Jersey regulations require an exit exam for a high school diploma and currently aspiring graduates can choose among PARCC, SAT's, ACT's, and several other tests. Why would a high school student applying to college take PARCC when he or she is taking the SAT's or ACT anyway?

One of the ten schools on NJ Spotlight's list is Science Park in Newark,  a magnet high school which “creams off” the highest-performing students who uniformly go to college. Here's the rest of the list, with percentages of students who meet the criteria for designation as "economically-disadvantaged." (All data from the N.J. Department of Education.)

  • Ramsey High School: 3.8% economically-disadvantaged
  • Westwood High School: 7.7% economically-disadvantaged
  • Pascack Valley Regional: 1.2% economically-disadvantaged
  • Livingston High School: 1.5% economically-disadvantaged
  • Princeton High School: 8.9% economically-disadvantaged
  • Morristown High School: 26% economically-disadvantaged
  • Montclair High School: 24.8% economically-disadvantaged
  • Brick High School: 33.9% economically-disadvantaged

Five high schools tied for 10th place. They are Bernards High School (1.3% economically-disadvantaged),  Montville High School (3.6% economically-disadvantaged), Ridgewood High School (1.1% economically-disadvantaged), Cherry Hill High School East (11.2% economically-disadvantaged), and West Orange High School (38.2% economically-disadvantaged).

Among the schools with higher number of economically-disadvantaged students, Morristown boasts a group called "Parents Against Common Core and PARCC." The 74 reported last year on the hot mess that is Montclair and describes “a sprawling web of influence and collaboration between the mayor’s office, a school board member, a community activist and the teachers union.” For the latest on Montclair, see today’s article from the Wall Street Journal.

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