Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hola Dual Language School Outperforms NJ Average in 2015 PARCC Mathematics and English Language Arts for Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6

The Hoboken Public Library (erected 1897)
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states that collaboratively developed a common set of assessments to measure student achievement and preparedness for college and careers. New Jersey is one of those states (along with AK, CO, IL, LA, MD, MA, MS, NM, OH, RI, and the District of Columbia). The  PARCC assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and were created to measure students' ability to apply their knowledge of concepts rather than memorizing facts. The PARCC assessments require students to solve problems using mathematical reasoning and to be able to model mathematical principles. In English Language Arts (ELA), students will be required to closely read multiple passages and to write essay responses in literary analysis, research tasks and narrative tasks. The assessments will also provide teachers information on student progress to inform instruction and provide targeted student support.

PARCC defines five levels in characterizing whether a student’s performance on the assessment meets the expectations of the grade level: 
• Level One: Not Yet Meeting Expectations 
• Level Two: Partially Meeting Expectations 
• Level Three: Approaching Expectations 
• Level Four: Meeting Expectations 
• Level Five: Exceeding Expectations

By combining the percentage of Level 4 and Level 5 we can derive an accurate estimation of the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the PARCC and are well on their way to college readiness. As we can see in Figure 1,  The Hola Dual Language School in Hoboken, NJ achieved a significantly higher passing rate than the NJ state average on both Mathematics and English Language Arts for Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6. An incredible achievement when one considers these are students who are being taught over 70% of the time in a different language (Spanish) than the dominant language spoken at home

Figure 1: Results of 2015 PARCC
Click to Enlarge 
The Hola Dual Language School is also the school that the local school district (Hoboken City School District) is seeking legal action against to set aside its charter renewal and to halt Hola's expansion. The lawsuit was initiated and its appeal continues fueled by a political faction on the Hoboken Board of Education known by a number of different names including Kids First, Parents for Progress, and Reach Higher Hoboken and has been supported by former Superintendent of Schools Mark Toback, Interim Superintendent of Schools Richard Brockel and others.

Excerpt from Hoboken Board of Education lawsuit