New Jersey strays away from PARCC testing

By Danielle Schwartz, News Editor

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The commonly-dreaded PARCC test may finally meet its end, as Governor Phil Murphy works towards modifying and eventually eliminating it. According to a NorthJersey article, Murphy said New Jersey will move toward a new generation of statewide testing.

Murphy said he expects the transition to take a couple of years, but the first steps will apply to the 2019 school year. He plans the first phase to include reducing the length of the test by 25 percent and reducing the weight of assessments on teacher evaluations.

Murphy pledged in his campaign for governor to end PARCC but said the state must consider new testing options before dropping the test. The state cannot ban standardized testing entirely, as federal law requires states to test students in math and reading at least once in high school to measure progress and identify schools in need of additional support.

“While I would have personally liked to have ditched PARCC on Day One, that simply wasn’t feasible,” Murphy said in a July 10 NorthJersey article. “But we are now on a clear path away from it.”

Critics have loathed the PARCC test since its launch in the 2014-15 school year, arguing that the tests were too difficult and long, eating up valuable classroom time. Large numbers of students fail to pass the exams and many families continue to refuse to let their kids take the test.

“We are glad to know that PARCC’s days are numbered in New Jersey,” New Jersey Education Association president Marie Blistan said. “No one understands better than educators what our students need in order to succeed. I’m very pleased that we will be involved in developing a better, smarter assessment system that benefits students and allow educators to do our jobs more effectively.”