The State Board of Education met on Wednesday, December 1st for their last meeting of the calendar year. On their agenda was a proposal from the Department of Education for setting a “cut score” for the new 11th grade test that will be given to high school juniors this spring.
The new test, called the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA), will put the state in compliance with the New Jersey Statute that requires the State graduation proficiency assessment to be administered to all 11th grade students. (N.J.S.A. 18A:7C-6).
The new NJGPA will measure students’ proficiency in ELA 10, Algebra I and Geometry, and will be one of the measures for graduation the following year. The first administration of the new test will be March 2022 for students in the Class of 2023.
At the meeting this week, the NJDOE recommended the demarcation between “Not Yet High School Graduation Ready” and “High School Graduation Ready” be set at a minimum of 725 for both the ELA and mathematics components of the assessment (on a scale of 650-850). The Department noted that this recommended cut score does align with the statutory requirement that the graduation proficiency assessment measure the core skills all students must possess in order to be graduation ready.
Following the Department’s proposal, the State Board of Education members had a spirited discussion about whether or not 725 was an appropriate cut score. While some members of the State Board felt it was a fair score and indicated they trusted the multi-factor process by which it was generated, others expressed concern that a minimum score of 725 would not set high enough expectations for our high school students. There was also a lengthy discussion detailing the difference between the NJSLA and the new NJGPA, similarities and differences between the two, and what each test seeks to assess.
A vote by the State Board on the cut score proposal is expected early next year.
See the NJ Department of Education’s powerpoint presentation of the NJGPA Cut Scores here.