For those of you following along, while both principal at Carteret High School and as superintendent of Asbury Park Public Schools, Lamont Repollet instituted a practice called “The 64 Floor.” As I explain here (and Repollet confirmed before legislators here), when high school teachers enter grades into the database at Asbury Park, an A+ is a 97, an A is a 94, and so on. Now here is where it gets interesting. A D is a 65. But an F is recorded as a 64. No one can get less than a 64. That’s why it’s called “The 64 Floor.”
What’s the result? No one can fail a class. Read the link for a full explanation.
Now that we’re, um, tinkering with PARCC, Repollet appeared before the State Board of Education to discuss “cut scores,” or what grade a student would need to pass each standardized end-of-year assessment. NJ 101.5 reports the following conversation between Board members and Repollet on cut scores for the science assessment:
Fifth-grade students whose score equals 65% of the total points possible would be deemed proficient. The cut scores would equal 57% for eighth graders and 58% for 11th graders.
The State Board of Education has to agree on the cut scores, probably at its meeting next month.
“Are we setting the standards high enough so that we’re pushing kids to achieve? And I don’t know, I’ll have to take your word for it that you think we are,” said board member Andrew Mulvihill.
“I think our standards are extremely high and surpass other states,” Repollet said. “However, we must also look at equity across the board, making sure that we provide all of our students with an opportunity to pass this assessment, and not just some students.”
“Sorry, could you repeat that? We want all the students to be able to pass the assessment?” Mulvihill said. “I mean, if everyone can pass it, it might be too easy.”
Ah, Mr. Mulvihill, that’s the point. Commissioner Repollet is determined to dumb down tests — make them “too easy” — so that, once again, the State lies to New Jersey families about their children’s readiness for life after high school Hey, it worked in Asbury Park — Gov. Murphy appointed Repollet because the graduation rate almost doubled after Repollet’s arrival, even though four out of five high schoolers fail the 10th grade reading test and five out of six fail Algebra 1. Now the DOE will set cut scores on standardized tests that enable “all of our students with an opportunity to pass this assessment, not not just some students.”
That’s not “equity” or “opportunity.” That’s selling our kids and our families a bill of goods, an exercise in deception driven by the soft bigotry of low expectations.
And The 64 Floor goes statewide.