NJPSA Executive Director Pat Wright thanked all NJPSA members for their role in helping to increase the number of students who took the PARCC assessments in Year 2, and for the improvement in PARCC scores. The following letter was sent to the membership via email on Tuesday, August 2, 2016:
Dear NJPSA Members,
This afternoon, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Department of Education Commissioner David Hespe announced that both participation and scores in the second year of PARCC increased in both mathematics and language arts. Throughout the state, 56,000 more students took the PARCC mathematics assessments and 60,000 more students took the language arts assessments than in the first year. Gains were also realized in the number of students who met the standards for college and career readiness.
This is certainly good news. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your hard work in scheduling, planning, and administering the PARCC assessments in 2016, particularly as controversy and misinformation surrounding PARCC continued. Clearly, as PARCC was rolled out in its first year, we learned a great deal about the potential technology issues that could arise in an online environment; the importance of communicating clearly with staff, students and parents; and the need for flexibility in scheduling and accommodating all students. Once again, the educational leaders of this state rose to this enormous challenge! The numbers shared by the Christie Administration today showing the improved results in the second year reflect the fruits of your tremendous efforts. Most importantly, I want to thank you, not only for your work with respect to the PARCC, but for the work you do day in and day out collaboratively with your teachers and professional learning communities to educate your students and ensure that they are learning, growing, and preparing themselves for the next phase in their educational journey.
As I stated when we first began implementing PARCC in New Jersey, the promise of PARCC is that it will provide critical data to educators, parents and students so they can effectively address the individual learning needs of our students. For the first time, New Jersey schools have received actionable data in a timely manner. This allows educators to make sound decisions related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Thank you again for your dedication to your profession and to your students. As executive director of NJPSA, I could not be more proud to represent you.