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Milou on PARCC ?>

Milou on PARCC

New Jersey should be proud to have a resident as expert and dedicated to math education as Eric Milou weighing in on PARCC.  I suspect I will like him when I meet him.  He has more experience in the field than I do. I am afraid, however that his position on standardized testing will be used to lead the state on a path away from the demonstrated excellence it has achieved in public education. Milou wrote a cogent argument against…

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So I took a PARCC Test ?>

So I took a PARCC Test

I took the PARCC tenth grade English Language Arts Literacy test. Now I don’t have to listen to hearsay complaints about the test. You can too. Click here. I’ll save you the suspense. I scored 16 out of a possible 24 points. Don’t try to log in with your name. The machine will whir, allow you to go to the beginning of the test, then return you to the login screen. Just leave the default login Guest. The question setup…

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Education Improvement and Core Beliefs ?>

Education Improvement and Core Beliefs

Arguments overt PARCC tests and Abbott funding in New Jersey education require that we dig down to our core beliefs about the purposes of education and government. Much ink has been spilled promoting specious statistical arguments coated with platitudes. These discussions are much easier to conduct once we lay out the first principles and see the degree to which we agree on them before we debate the details. Nature vs Nurture There is little disagreement, I think, that some children…

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New Jersey State Sport: Kick the Can ?>

New Jersey State Sport: Kick the Can

New Jersey government – including both the Governor and the Assembly – has been good at only one thing in 2016: kicking the can down the road. Under Chris Christie, we’ve contributed more to the public pension fund than under any recent governor.  Nonetheless our pension debt is staggering. Paying out state funds for future goals is painful but necessary. We let our Transportation Trust Fund go dry.  We’ve stopped all maintenance on our transportation infrastructure.  That’s good for a…

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PARCC Again ?>


The NJ Board of Education announced this week that student test scores would be used for 30% of a teacher’s evaluation, three times higher than before.  This has reignited controversy over the PARCC standardized tests. What this story leaves out is that the NJ-ASK score was 30% of a teacher’s evaluation until the 2014-15 school year.  For the year of introduction of the PARCC, the student score portion was lowered to 10%.  We are only returning to the status quo…

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Is the PARCC test valid? ?>

Is the PARCC test valid?

The New Jersey Board of Education announced last week its intent to make passage of the PARCC test a requirement for high school graduation.  Students in the eleventh grade are given a computer-delivered test of tenth grade English and Algebra I, typically taught in the ninth grade.  Students will need to achieve a score of 4: Met Expectations or 5: Exceeded Expectations.  These score reflect the standards adopted by the federal Common Core for education New Jersey scores, like other…

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PARCC Standardized Tests and Flying ?>

PARCC Standardized Tests and Flying

A reader posed this question about PARCC: “How well do you think flying and flight instruction would work if all was run by untrained 22 year-old and billionaire funded?” Thanks for asking.  Flying is a skill with potential risk to life.  Bad instruction in the air is potentially as life altering as bad teaching in primary and secondary school. Earning a pilot certificate – the analog of high school graduation – requires three things:  each has an analog in the…

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NJ PARCC: Every knee jerking ?>

NJ PARCC: Every knee jerking

The New Jersey State Board of Education voted to make the PARCC standardized test a requirement for high school graduation in 2021.  The response is deafening. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium comprising eight states, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education that has developed a standard set of tests of mathematics and English for primary and secondary schools.based on the Common Core State Standards. New Jersey has had a testing…

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NJ Education Priorities ?>

NJ Education Priorities

New Jersey’s debate about PARCC testing for high school graduation is missing the mark. For $18,000 a year, our kids should receive a rounded education.  That means crayon for kindergartens, debate clubs, AP classes, good labs, and theater for high schoolers.  It means special attention for special kids, including the poor one.  It also means a kick in the pants for the troublemakers.  I know; all of them applied to me. At graduation, though, there are still three fundamentals: reading,…

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