The NJSLA is in and PARCC is out


(Photo courtesy of The Daring Librarian (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)) The NJSLA assessment, which has replaced PARCC, runs May 20 and 21.

By Ava DiGiacomo, Senior Chief News Editor

The New Jersey Student Learning Assessment is replacing the infamous PARCC test and West Essex students do not know what to expect as May 20 rolls around, marking the start of testing.

Aside from the name, the NJSLA is not much different from PARCC. The content and format will look identical, but the major difference between the tests is that the NJSLA is significantly shorter. Both ELA and mathematics sections have been shortened from three sections to two. This will drop testing time from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the test. The science section has a total of four sections that will take 60 minutes each.

The New Jersey Department of Education announced that 11th graders do not need to take the ELA and math sections, but will be taking the NJSLA science section on May 20 and May 21. The 9th and 10th graders will take the NJSLA ELA section on May 20 and the mathematics section on May 21. On Monday, a C day, students will have their regular afternoon classes after testing. On Tuesday, a D day, students will have their regular morning classes in the afternoon following testing.

Many West Essex students heard about PARCC being replaced, but they did not know how it was different from the original test.

¨I don’t know what is replacing PARCC, but I heard it was called the SLAM,¨ sophomore Vanessa Borg said.

¨I think it is going to be the same test as PARCC, but with a different name,¨ sophomore Nicole Cestone said.

Ryan Gupta, director of curriculum for the school district, said he has high hopes for the NJSLA this year. He said he believed West Essex students would react well to the change and would appreciate the shortening of the test.

¨My hope and expectation is that students take the NJSLA as seriously as any other test … so that the results accurately reflect West Essex’s high level of academic achievement,¨ Mr. Gupta said.