the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Trenton NJ, The Murphy Administration today announced the first steps in transitioning away from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and toward a new generation of statewide testing by issuing a report, detailing proposals for draft regulations and other upcoming changes in the 2018-19 school year.
At a press conference in Atlantic City, Governor Murphy said he wants to take NJ out of PARCC student assessment testing.“PARCC’s high-stakes, high-stress system has been, I believe, a detriment to our students and our educators,” Murphy said.
Recommendations were collected by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) during a two-month, 21-county tour in which the Commissioner and staff traveled over 5,700 miles, held approximately 75 in-person sessions, three live webinars, and heard from more than 2,300 students, teachers, school administrators, education advocates and community leaders.
Speaker Coughlin lauded the move in a statement: “This is a step in the right direction. From the moment it was introduced, the PARCC was widely criticized by teachers, school administrators, parents and students for being overly confusing and taking up too much instructional time. We cannot evaluate student proficiency and base a student’s ability to graduate on a flawed system. Students should have to prove that they are ready for graduation, but not through an assessment as inadequate and problematic as the PARCC. I’m glad Gov. Murphy is reversing course on this, and clearing the way for a more effective and responsible approach to measuring student learning.”
“Because of a focused, concentrated effort to reach out to New Jersey residents and to give them a voice at the table, we are on a clear path away from PARCC,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “By making the transition in phases, we can ensure a smooth implementation in schools across the state and maintain compliance with current state and federal requirements.”
“A stronger, fairer New Jersey means one that prioritizes outreach and collaboration when making policy decisions,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “My staff and I went on a listening tour across the state to ensure that we understood the scope of interest, and we moved forward having considered the needs of students, educators, and broader community members in building the next generation assessment system by New Jersey, for New Jersey.”
The transition will be made in multiple phases. The first phase began with stakeholder outreach and culminates with the report and proposed short-term changes. The report provides an overview of the feedback received from interested stakeholders and the process used to achieve it.
The proposed changes for State Board review include:
Streamlining graduation requirements by reducing the number of required tests in high school from six to two.
Ensuring that educators and parents receive test data in a timely manner.
Providing flexibility for first-year English learners on the English language proficiency test.
Additional changes not requiring State Board approval include:
Reducing the length of testing for all grades by approximately 25 percent.
Reducing the weight of the assessment on teacher evaluations.
More details regarding the changes can be found in the report and draft regulations.
Beginning this summer and occurring over the course of the 2018-19 school year, the NJDOE will be launching the second phase of assessment outreach in New Jersey, focusing on the more complicated questions and issues with implementation that we encountered during the listening tour. More information about Phase 2 will be made available over the next few months.