80-percent of College Achieve Paterson Charter School students failed PARCC math | Paterson Times

80-percent of College Achieve Paterson Charter School students failed PARCC math


The College Achieve Paterson Charter School claimed it is a “high-performing” school while touting a waitlist of several hundred students in September. When questions, school officials could not back up their claim and refused to provide standardized exam scores.

89-percent of its sixth graders and 81-percent of its fifth graders failed the math portion of the state standardized exams in the 2017-18 school year, according to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) scores the school released after the Paterson Times filed a lawsuit seeking the public records.

College Achieve Paterson Charter School served 288 students in kindergarten, 1st, 5th, and 6th grades in the 2017-18 school year.

The school’s math scores put it behind the Paterson Public Schools. 19-percent of district 6th graders and 22-percent of 5th graders passed – met or exceeded expectations — math section of the PARCC.

“I’m not surprised. I try to tell folks this is not the way to go. When people hear charter, they think it’s better. They don’t do their research,” said Linda Reid, president of the Parent Education Organizing Council of Paterson (PEOC).

Reid has spoken out against charter schools which, critics say, divert resources from the Paterson Public Schools, triggering layoffs and program cuts that negatively affect vast majority of city students.

“We do have last year’s test scores, but until we have the district’s compiled scores as a point of comparison, we’re not comfortable releasing those publicly. I can tell you that if we compare CAPS’ PARCC 2018 scores to the district’s 2017 scores, we have a significantly higher percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards, especially in ELA,” said Angela Montagna Holmes in September.

The school’s students fared better on the English section of the PARCC. 40-percent of 5th graders and 51-percent of 6th graders met or exceeded expectations. 31-percent of district 5th graders and 28-percent of 6th graders passed the English portion.

Holmes issued a press release in early September touting the school had 300 students on a waitlist.

“I’ll be happy to share our scores once the district releases theirs in the next few weeks,” said Holmes on Sept. 7. When told, the district had released its PARCC scores a month earlier, Holmes did not respond.

Gemar Mills, executive director for the College Achieve Paterson Charter School, refused to provide the scores in September. He did not respond to a message seeking his input for this story.

Mills runs the charter school through what’s called a charter management organization, according to school officials.

The school received some attention earlier in the year when it hired school board member Manny Martinez as a vice principal for $84,000. Martinez had left another school, the Community Charter School of Paterson, after the school settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him and the school by a substitute teacher.

Community Charter School of Paterson settled the lawsuit by paying the woman $90,000.

“When identifying an administrator, there are three foundational attributes you look for: integrity, empathy and resilience,” said Mills in the news release. “Mr. Martinez embodies them all and we are excited about his future here at College Achieve.”

Mills appears to be using an unorthodox method to make his hires. College Achieve Paterson Charter School could not produce employment applications for Martinez or its principal Henry McNair.

Mills’ failure to timely respond to request for test scores and other data cost his school thousands of dollars in legal expenses.

College Achieve Paterson Charter School opened in Paterson in 2017. It is part of a network of New Jersey charter schools founded by Michael D. Piscal. The school also has campuses in Plainfield and Asbury Park.

Piscal went by Mike Piscal in California, where he founded a network of charters called ICEF Public Schools. He resigned amid an ongoing financial crisis at the network in 2010, according to news stories.

“There are some charter schools that don’t need to be opened,” said Reid. She said College Achieve Paterson Charter School is one of them.

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  • Dominick Perez

    So 81% of Paterson Public School students failed and they tout that as a success lmfao.

    • MarquinhoGaucho

      apparently more successful than these scam charters

      • Dominick Perez

        The real scam is being perpetrated by the unions. They're scamming the taxpayers real good.

        • MarquinhoGaucho

          NJ is in the top 3 in the country…Go to non union florida, mississippi and louisiana how are their schools? NJ tax payers get what the pay for..

          • Dominick Perez

            Yes thanks to the municipalities run by those evil white Republicans. They're superior numbers raise the averages for the entire state. In the ghetto cities the students are socially promoted so as not to injure their self esteem and are basically functionally illiterate. I have a cousin who graduated from Eastside HS, he was never left back and he barely reads and writes on a 5th grade level. One example out of countless illiterates graduated from Paterson high schools. Great job Paterson Public Schools !

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            the social promotion part was started by the politicians so the students would read below grade level, hence do bad on tests , hence justify charters….whole M.O of privatization is (A) defund -create failing system (B) People get mad (C) Offer privatization as a panacea

          • Dominick Perez

            The politicians are owned by the unions. Nice try though.

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            Unions cant compete with the Wall street hedge fund money that backs charters…nice try though…The Kochs spent more than the top 27 unions combined…

          • Dominick Perez

            Those evil Koch brothers! It's all their fault that the unions are so corrupt! Better call George Soros!

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            Go live in Hungary or Russia if you love a corrupt corporate fascist dictatorship so much…

          • Dominick Perez

            Nah I was born here. Go back to whatever third world shithole you came here from. You people come here to escape your corrupt Commie shitholes and then you want to turn my country into the same shithole you swam here from. MAGA

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            Actually we escaped a shit hole Right Wing dictatorship by a US backed School of the Americas graduate where people "disappeared" , death squads rampant, and they drove the economy to the ground with hyperinflation.. "Your country?" Your last name is Perez…Go to a TRump rally tell them your name is Perez, they'll find you swinging from a tree with a sign saying "Spic should've gone back to his country" …FYI America was always Great except under the Polk/ Jackson/ Hoover/Bush Jr/ Trump Administrations

          • Dominick Perez

            There you go again making up lies. I was born here so yup it's my country. You're welcome for the welfare and food stamps. MAGA

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            I've worked my whole life, never once got welfare OR food stamps, or had children out of wedlock …remember to Trumpsters you are just a dirty illegal spic a greaser beaner wetback…so you may fool yourself but the MAGA people will never accept you.

          • Dominick Perez

            You're a typical "tolerant" Liberal. I've attended MAGA rallies all across the country and have been treated with nothing but love and respect. You hate White people so much that you transfer your disgusting racism onto them. Truly pathetic.

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            You are probably cant even speak Spanish and have forgotten your roots…I dont hate white people , I dont like hate racists

          • Dominick Perez

            MAGA y Chupe mi bicho

          • MarquinhoGaucho

            cierto que no sabes como hablar en espanol…volvete a Cuba y chupa la pija de los Castro mamaguebo

          • Dominick Perez

            Yo momma!