11 Parsippany Schools Fail to Meet Testing Criteria

All but three district schools failed to meet No Child Left Behind standards.

The  addressed the matter of 11 area public schools that fell short of meeting federal No Child Left Behind proficiency standards for 2011 at its Tuesday meeting at .

Parsippany High School and 10 other schools—the district would not reveal which—failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress benchmarks in Language Arts Literacy and Mathematics, according to Interim Curriculum and Instruction Director Ruth Anne Estler. At the meeting, she told the board that there are extenuating circumstances to consider.

And she insisted: "Scores didn't drop."

The problem, she said, is that NCLB benchmarks were raised significantly this year.

"The new benchmark makes it look as though we didn't make progress. We made progress, but not enough to meet the new standards required by NCLB," said Estler. "You can't compare how we did this year with last year when scores are a moving target."

As an example of the benchmark changes, the benchmark for the High School Proficiency Assessment in math was 74 percent proficiency. That standard was raised to 86 percent for 2011. The district's overall proficiency level in math for 2011 improved from 79.7 to 80.6 percent--higher than the state average--but still beneath the national benchmark of 86 percent. The HSPA is given to students in 11th grade.

Under the NCLB plan, public schools are tasked with achieving 100 percent proficiency in Language Arts Literacy and Mathematics by 2014.

Estler also noted that scores for educational subgroups--special education, minority group members, economically disadvantaged students--were mixed into the scores of the "general education"  population, which also pulls the proficiency percentage downward.

The district will develop a number of action plans to help schools perform better on standardized tests. Strategies, Estler said, will include training staff members on the testing structure, formulating instructional strategies to help teachers teach to the tests, offering test simulations and writing exercises to students, presenting intensive training to at-risk students and putting more emphasis on non-fiction reading and teaching how to handle multiple-choice questions.

Representatives of Eastlake, Rockaway Meadow, Central Middle and Parsippany Hills High schools shared their institutions' ideas for improving test scores.

Superintendent LeRoy Seitz said he was confident Parsippany would prevail in the end.

"The difference between last year and this year is that the bar is set at an extremely high level," he said. "We won't allow our schools not to succeed."

Seitz said the district is looking at other resources and identifying needs. It is also considering ways in which the school day, week and year--and access to instruction and help--may be extended or made available using technology and the Internet.

jokester39 October 19, 2011 at 11:06 PM
Seitz just doesn't get it. The action plan should be implemented on him and his restricted views on education. Apparently, he doesn't read much otherwise he would know that the answer to pupil's success is not the internet or technology. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html?_r=2&pagewanted=6&hp The dawnfall in our district heavily points to the inexperienced principals he places.. They are young, lack moral judgement and are totally unprepared to lead. The standards are raised by the NCLB to all schools not just Parsippany. Seitz has been claiming his infallability and his foresight as an educator to justify his salary; why then are our school not measuring up with other districts? The action plans should be placed on Seitz and his principals-starting with Betz- and stop using the action plans against good teachers in the district simply not liked by Betz because they are intimidating to her. Parsippany High School will never be an academic success until you get rid of the mediocre Betz.
Sharon Maroldi October 19, 2011 at 11:10 PM
Natalie - is there a public site where they list a comparison of how different towns fared? Just curious.
Bob Crawford October 19, 2011 at 11:56 PM
So let me see if I understand. At last evening's Board meeting, we learned that Superintendent Seitz was being paid $220,565 which included $8,000 in increases in the past ten months despite the fact that the Board attorney agreed that the salary payment was not legal because Superintendent Seitz''s contract had been rescinded by the Board. We also learned that for the first time since the introduction of No Child Left Behind that an overwhelming number of the district schools (11 out of 14 schools) failed to demonstrate adequate yearly progress. So Superintendent Seitz's salary increased while student test scores fail to meet expectations and all is well in Parsippany.....
Natalie Davis (Editor) October 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Not sure. Information was presented in graph form during last night's meeting. I
Natalie Davis (Editor) October 20, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Sharon, info is available for school districts and AYP through the last school year (meaning, the one prior to the stats we are discussing) on the NJDOE website. For those interested, five schools did not make AYP FOR 2010-11, according to the site: Intervale, Lake Parsippany, Knollwood, Brooklawn Middle and Rockaway Meadow. At least some of these schools didn't make it this year, as Ruth Anne Estler mentioned at the meeting that some schools were in the second year of not meeting the benchmarks. When a school reaches a third year in this category, that's when it gets into the serious "in need of improvement" category. Parsippany isn't there yet and hopefully the action plans will work to avoid that situation.
Sharon Maroldi October 21, 2011 at 03:24 AM
Thanks - yes, I also looked. I was really curious, because we only moved here before our wedding in '07 and our taxes have gone up around 30% since then. My husband and I are both news junkies (local & national), so we have read unsubstantiated statements about the school system, without data. It's good to see actual raw scores/data. Thanks.
THE TRUTHTALKER October 22, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Well jokester39, jealousy and fear of change rear its ugly head. First off do you think that anyone would take someone serious or someone’s opinion serious with a name like jokester? You have been the source of amusement your entire life I’m sure and proud of it. The downfall as you want readers to understand is just jealousy that you do not have either position, and being the negative person you are, which I deduce in part is due to your lack of education, morals, poor upbringing, and your lack of respect for others, you attack people and cower behind a computer. You speak of Principals, but you call out one in particular. Betz this, Betz that. As for your comment of using action plans to get rid of teachers because they are intimidating to Betz, find out before you spew your non factual comments. I know for sure nor you nor your cheap attack is intimidating, that’s for sure. Jason Varano, Mayor Bayville NJ, @ 32 years old, no one thought he was too young or inexperienced, still serving now as Mayor since 1998, but you must be right, because you yourself are not a leader but you want to cast judgment on others.
realtruth October 22, 2011 at 09:04 PM
@Jokester33 - great job in addressing a serious problem in our district. @TruthTalker- I am glad jokester33 hit your nerve- perhaps you are what you accuse Jokester33 to be? I see the truth hurts in your case. We can all see you are hiding under a mask of pure ignorance that cannot be extradicated. Perhaps it is time for you to resign?
THE TRUTHTALKER October 24, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Well, you know realtruth, the person who begins to call people out behind a computer is the one your speaking of, and i surmise that you "realtruth" are really the "Jokester" but have now changed your name as you realize the name has been called out, and as for hitting a nerve, nahhh not really, it's just amazing how jealous people act like a child and cry when they dont get their way. Ohh, and as for resigning, well maybe you have the wrong person if you think I am anyone spoken of in this post, but if you feel so strong, perhaps you should go to these people and suggest to them, to thier faces, that you think they should resign, hows that sound ?. I do live in Parsippany, but trust me, I dont work there. I know its hard for you and you had to now change your name to "realtruth", that there is the mask of ignorance you speak about quite clearly. Its very simple, like you believe you are "addressing a serious problem in our district" instead of cowering behind your computer, go out and tell someonee who will make a difference. I hope you were also able to read the post that was deleeted as well :)
parhome October 24, 2011 at 02:44 PM
Mr. Seitz and the Parsippany Bd of Ed are loving all this chatter about NCLB .. takes the attention away from them and their atrocious behavior.
realtruth October 25, 2011 at 07:39 PM
@TRUTHTALKER (I cannot help but sadly laugh at your "name") I will not dignify you with my comments; your writing speaks volumes about you.
THE TRUTHTALKER October 26, 2011 at 04:39 PM
realtruth.. Stupid like a Fox, you play right into it. I would not expect you to dignify anything, as someone who has no dignity for himself.
g February 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation—has compiled a list of disturbing figures: 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year: A student drops out of high school every 26 seconds. That's 1.2 million per year—or 6,000 a day. 1/4 of high school students don't graduate on time: More than a quarter of high school freshmen fail to graduate from high school on time. 3 in 10 college freshmen repeat high school classes: Although 80 percent of 10th graders plan to earn a college degree, 3 in 10 college freshmen have to repeat high school courses and nearly half fail to graduate. 70% of 8th graders can't read at grade level: Seventy percent of 8th graders can't read at their grade level—and most will never catch up. Math teachers lack math-related degrees: More than a third of middle and high school math classes are taught by someone who lacks even a college minor in a math-related field. States set low standards: 25 million students attend school in states that have set proficiency standards for 4th grade reading below even the most basic level. U.S. ranks 19th in graduation rate: America's high school graduation rate ranks 19th in the world. (Forty years ago, we were first.) (Strong American Schools, 2008,
g February 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Director Ruth Anne Estler. At the meeting, she told the board that there are extenuating circumstances to consider. And she insisted: "Scores didn't drop." The problem, she said, is that NCLB benchmarks were raised significantly this year. continuation of posting by g I guess Director Estler would rather have the benchmark lowered. This would surely guarantee poor teachers keep their jobs. Jobs first students last


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