The Plan

April 26, 2018

The+All+Purpose+Room+being+set+up+for+the+middle+school+PARCC+testing%2C+high+school+students+will+be+taking+them+on+their+school+computers.+Don%E2%80%99t+forget+to+charge+your+computers%21

Photo Credit: Ryan Hornish

The All Purpose Room being set up for the middle school PARCC testing, high school students will be taking them on their school computers. Don’t forget to charge your computers!

Phil Murphy became New Jersey’s 56th governor after winning against former Governor Chris Christie and represents a new mind with new views on how to improve New Jersey.

Murphy listed dissolving the PARCC exam as one of his major goals.

“The notion of assessing kids to make sure we understand how they’re doing, I’m all in for that,” Murphy said, “But these big, white-knuckle, once-a-year, with lots of weeks getting folks tuned up to take a particular test I’m not a fan of. Never have been.”

It is unknown of what Governor Murphy wants to replace the PARCC with or exactly when the PARCC will be removed but students and teachers alike support this change.

Governor Murphy and the State Department of Education have proposed a committee to solely focus on finding new exams and using the input of students and teachers to create a new standardized test.

After roughly 11 years of students taking the NJAS, the state Board of Education replaced the test with the PARCC in the 2014-15 school year.

Unlike the NJASK, the PARCC is electronic and administered on laptops rather than paper and pencil.

Technology had finally caught up to testing, but was the test ready for the state?

In April 2016, the second year of PARCC testing, students across the state logged on to laptops outfitted with the PARCC test software only to find out that the test wasn’t accessible. The test was quickly postponed in order to fix the issue and New Jersey became one of many states to experience an issue with electronic testing.

After four long years, the many kinks and bugs once affecting this test have been fixed, but many states have already dropped electronic testing, including the PARCC, due to computer glitches. The state has paid approximately $108 million over the last four years because of glitches.

Additionally, New Jersey is paying $25.50 for each student’s test, $3 dollars less than the NJASK.

However, the hefty price tag on the test isn’t what concerns Governor Murphy and other educators. Rather, it’s whether the test actually fits students’ needs. If not, then it would still end up being a waste of taxpayer money and educators’ time.

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