A new requirement

April 26, 2018


Photo Credit: Ryan Hornish

A student looks at the PARCC website during class to see what will happen to the test if changed by Governor Phil Murphy.

In August 2016, the Board of Education passed a regulation that the class of 2021 and all future graduating classes would have to pass the PARCC test to receive their high school diploma. This came as a surprise as many did not believe a highly criticized test should be a requirement for graduation.

The upcoming test this April will provide the state with reliable data to see how students are progressing. In the past, data was not as reliable as more students opted out and put less effort in the test because the PARCC wasn’t a requirement for the graduating classes of 2018-2020.

Governor Murphy promised the public for the end to New Jerseys reliance on the PARCC and the graduation requirement.

Murphy believes that students need state testing but said, “Good teachers and good students can have bad test days. Too much emphasis is being put on a single test, as opposed to weighing a student’s progress through years of instruction.”

Governor Murphy wants the state Department of Education to work with teachers to create an assessment that would meet national requirements be accepted by the public.

The test is still being taken by students because the Department of Education and Governor Christie signed a four year contract with Pearson.

Pearson is the British based company that created the PARCC. It has offices located worldwide, including one in Hoboken New Jersey. Pearson is a for-profit corporation that creates educational tools and tests for schools world wide. The company controls roughly 50 percent of all educational materials used by students across the United States.

The contract signed by Christie, which started PARCC testing in 2015 will end by the end of this year but if a replacement is not found then Pearson will have to still supply New Jersey with the PARCC for another year costing New Jersey more money.

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