Thursday, June 2, 2016

Paterson Ex-School Board Member Needs a Little Education on PARCC

PolitickerNJ is featuring an editorial today from former Paterson School Board member Corey Teague. He must be recently “former” because an article in the Star-Ledger describes how last Spring Teague was questioned about his role in a “conspiracy” to urge students to opt out of PARCC tests. Paterson was one of the very few Jersey districts with relatively high refusal rates for the Common Core-aligned assessments -- 30% -- that mostly enroll poor students of color.

In the editorial Teague writes about his “discontent” with current DOE regulations that require that graduating students pass PARCC's  10th grade language arts and the Algebra I tests. The source of his discontent, he says, is because “the same folks who want to impose an unproven test on our students is the exact same people who have been illegally underfunding our school district for 7 years straight.” Teague is also concerned about his district’s ability “to have people in place to work on a curriculum which aligns with the PARCC,” as well as have the technical expertise to administer PARCC.

A few corrections.

First, Paterson is funded by the state at  $21,481 per pupil. This seems like a lot of money, even for New Jersey. According to DOE data, Paterson has an annual operating budget of almost half a billion dollars -- $477,481,718 -- for its 28,000 students.

Second, N.J. adopted the Common Core in 2010 and Paterson’s course standards have been aligned with the material assessed by PARCC for years. And if you scroll to the end of its user-friendly budget, there appears to be plenty of technical experts employed by the district, certainly enough to administer PARCC. Heck, Paterson even has a well-paid administrator to oversee its private planetarium.

Teague has a clear agenda, described on his Facebook page:
Corey L. TeagueMay 4 at 6:50pm
It was an honor to stand beside the New Jersey Education Associationand Save Our Schools New Jersey to oppose ‪#‎PARCC‬. Please know that I will always defend the interests of the students.
 Good for him. Not so good for Paterson schoolchildren.

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