Clearview BOE reviews annual tests results, hears opposition from students about new assessment policy

The board reviewed the district’s statewide standardized test performance and heard student's concerns about a newly implemented assessment policy.

During the latest Clearview Regional Board of Education meeting, members discussed an annual review of the district’s statewide standardized test performance. 

The state Department of Education requires schools to present the results to the community. The district received the test results on Sept. 9. 

The results show how students at Clearview Regional are performing on the state’s standardized tests compared to other districts. 

Each district is required to present the results within 60 days of receipt. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Sherry McAteer presented the results to the public at the Sept. 26 BOE meeting. 

Performance and participation results of students in all statewide assessments were presented, including the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment, Dynamic Learning Maps, a test performed by some students in special education, and WIDA’s ACCESS test, an assessment for English language learners.   

Districts are also required to share any trends that arise in terms of its subgroup populations.

McAteer talked about some of the areas of performance that need to be addressed by the school and shared resources for its students who still need to achieve proficiency in the assessments. 

The district has performed better every year for the past five years under the English Language Arts section in the NJSLA, which is the new name for the former Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessment. Students in the district are performing 5 to 10 percent higher than the state average, depending on the grade level, according to McAteer. 

Results in the math section of the test, which is graded by course instead of grade level, also performed better each year for the past five years. Students are performing anywhere from 1 to 19 percent higher than the state average.   

Districts in the state are required to review the performance levels of racial subgroups. Clearview Regional consists of Asian, African American, Hispanic, Multiple and White subgroups. 

Each subgroup is improving each year at the district. Asian subgroup students are performing at the highest level in the district, according to the results. 

During the public comment section of the board meeting, multiple students and one parent publicly expressed their disappointment with a new assessment policy that was implemented in the 2019-2020 school year at the high school. They opposed a section of the policy that forces teachers to follow a set schedule to administer major tests to their students. They claimed that the new calendar especially hurts students who are in Advanced Placement classes.

“This is not very beneficial for most people in my class,” said Paige Buthurst, a senior who takes multiple AP courses. 

By the first week of school, the Clearview Education Association released a statement expressing its concern for the new policy, stating that it “ties the hands” of teachers.

“It undermines the educational expertise of teachers who know how to best maximize the academic success of their students. I think it’s important to trust the calendars that teachers create,” said high school junior Anna Kilpatrick, an AP student, during the public comment. 

The next BOE meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Public Conference Room of the Administration Building.