Thursday, June 16, 2016

If You're Keeping Score of PARCC Opt-Out Rates in New Jersey...

Montclair Public Schools, one of the hotbeds of PARCC refusals, reports that more students took the PARCC this year than last year. According an article in  The Record today,
292 students opted out in six elementary schools, 521 in the three middle schools, and 644 in Montclair High School. The elementary school with the high amount of students opting out was Hillside School with 112. The middle school with the most opt-outs was Mount Hebron with 263.
The opt-outs were a major issue last year for the Montclair School District. During the March 2015 testing period, more than 42 percent of students opted out. More than 47 percent opted out for the May 2015 period, which ranked among the highest refusal rates in New Jersey.
However last year, when opt-out fever, concentrated in higher-income suburban districts, was spiking (NJEA devoted about $10 million of union dues to an anti-PARCC campaign, which included television and radio advertising and billboards), The Record reported that
According to the information provided by the district, 3,170 students across the district in grades 3-8 registered, with 968 refusing to take the test. The number of students who were opted out is 30.5 percent...In grades 9 through 11, 1,453 students registered, with 827 not taking the test, or 56.9 percent opting out. The highest percentage of students not taking the PARCC tests were juniors at Montclair High School. About 66.5 percent or 319 out of 480 students opted out.
In other words, test refusals, even in this fiercely-politicized district, dropped from last year to this year. Another example: in Princeton, the womb of the anti-accountability group Save Our Schools-NJ,, Superintendent Steve Cochrane reported that refusal numbers “appear to be lower than last year.”

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