The number of eleventh graders meeting or exceeding expectations in the language arts and literacy portion of the PARCC examination increased by 10-percent in the 2015-16 school year, according to results revealed on Wednesday evening.
11-percent of eleventh graders met or exceeded expectations in the 2014-15. This number jumped to 21-percent in 2015-16 academic year.
Grades 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10 saw single digit increases in the number of students meeting and exceeding expectations while grades 5 and 7 witnessed decreases in the literacy portion. Fifth grade dropped by 3-percent and seventh grade dropped by 2-percent, according to the results.
In mathematics third graders made the biggest gains with 7-percent increase in meeting and exceeding expectations. Grades 5, 7, and 8 saw no changes from 2014-15 to 2015-6. Students who took the Algebra 1 exam also registered no change in meeting and exceeding expectations.
Algebra II registered a 1-percent increase while Geometry spiked by 3-percent.
“I’m heartened by all of this, but I’m still a little concerned,” said school board member Jonathan Hodges. He asked whether the exam is capturing the academic performance of immigrant students in the district.
Students new to English do not take the exam in the first year, but do so the second year, responded Bari Erlichson, special assistant to the commissioner of education, who presented the exam results.
“I’m pleased by the trajectory,” said Erlichson. The number of students in the lowest two categories – not yet meeting and partially meeting expectations – dropped in every grade save for fourth grade which registered no change.
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) places students in five levels. Those who landed on meeting and exceeding expectations levels are deemed “college and career ready.”
“This is a positive for us,” added board member Errol Kerr. Hodges worried cuts in school budget will adversely impact future results.
Hodges also wondered about the implication the governor’s proposed flat rate per pupil funding formula will have on exam results.
The district has a long way to go before it can celebrate. It is below the state average on every grade level in mathematics and language arts, according to the PARCC results revealed last night.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Erlichson.