New Jersey Department of Education

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Districts Show Significant Gains on Statewide Assessments

For Immediate Release
Contact: David Saenz
Date: September 28, 2017

Trenton, NJ – Students in New Jersey's school districts and charter schools have improved considerably in both mathematics and English language arts (ELA) in the third administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.

From the first to the third year of PARCC testing, over 88,000 more students met or exceeded expectations across all grade levels in ELA, and nearly 70,000 more students met or exceeded expectations across all grade levels in math. Meeting or exceeding expectations on the assessments is one indication of whether or not a student is on pace to be college and career ready.

In addition to highlighting significant academic improvement, the results offer helpful information to educators and families about how best to support individual students, as well as provide an objective look at how all students are progressing in a particular grade or subject.

"Students, families, educators, and district and school leaders should be applauded for the exceptional work they did in achieving this impressive academic growth," said Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington.  

While most districts showed significant overall growth, some districts showed even greater gains across multiple grade levels. For example, Beverly City in Burlington County achieved noteworthy gains by effectively implementing New Jersey's challenging standards, utilizing the statewide assessments to understand what their students need to meet grade- and subject-level expectations, and continuously improving curricula, instruction, and student supports. 

"Moving forward, the state will be looking to learn from and share best practices from districts such as Beverly City, Lodi, and all the districts where educators and students are seeing substantial gains," said Commissioner Harrington. "To that end, we are excited to announce a new  'Lighthouse Districts' initiative to recognize the outstanding efforts and achievements of districts that are truly lighting the path to success for all students."

Lighthouse Districts will be recognized for their achievement in advancing student growth, and they will be provided with leadership opportunities to share strategies with educators in other school districts. State leaders intend to develop this initiative in partnership with teachers and stakeholders over the coming weeks.

As the state continues to build on the momentum gained throughout the transition to these higher standards and quality assessments, Commissioner Harrington stated that New Jersey's educational path forward is crystal clear.

"We must continue to provide this valuable information about student achievement to parents and schools which will empower our outstanding educators to help prepare each and every New Jersey student for a successful future," she said.

District- and school-level 2017 PARCC outcomes are available on the NJDOE website.