The state Department of Education recently released the newest School Performance Reports for all public schools in the state, and this year, data from the first year of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career exams was included.
That data and more was outlined at the May 18 meeting of Eastern Camden County Regional Board of Education by director of curriculum, instruction and professional development Robert Cloutier.
Cloutier said although the PARCC-related statistics included in the report were all figures he had already reported to the district at a meeting in December, he again noted that participation was still the biggest concern for Eastern.
Cloutier said the participation rate established by the state for the English language arts and math sections of the test was at 95 percent, but Eastern only met a school-wide participation rate of 54.3 percent for the English portion and a 53 percent participation rate for the math portion.
“Many of our students do not participate, and honestly last year, our students who did participate, some of them did not take advantage of the two-hour test window,” Cloutier said.
In turn, Cloutier said academic achievement scores are also a concern because of the low participation rate.
On a school-wide level, Cloutier said only 38 percent of students met or exceeded the academic expectation in the English portion of the test, and only 33 percent of students met or exceeded the academic expectation in the math portion of the test.
In terms of other indicators that have been traditionally in the report, Cloutier staid Eastern’s scores are holding steady with very little change.
For the category of the report dealing with Eastern readying students for college and careers, Cloutier said the district was at 80 percent of students participating in SAT or ACT tests, which is the state target.
Cloutier said the district also had a slight increase in the number of students scoring higher than 1550 on SAT tests, and the district’s graduation rate continues to be strong, increasing from 92 percent to 94 percent.
“Our raw data is actually improving, so as you can see, our rankings may have gone down in certain areas but our raw data is doing very well,” he said.
Throughout the report, Cloutier said the district is compared to peer schools the state has determined are similar to Eastern based on demographics. While those rankings change every year, Cloutier said the district has now been compared to several schools such as Kingsway Regional High School and Washington Township High School for several years in a row.
“This matters because how our rankings to peer schools are really depend on which schools we are being compared to year to year,” Cloutier said.
The full school performance report for Eastern and other schools is available online through the state Department of Education.