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Ridgewood BOE Attempts to Clear the Air on PARCC Tests


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, In December, the NJ Appellate Court struck down the PARCC graduation requirement because the high school PARCC multi-year, multi-test requirement did not align with the state law’s graduation requirement of one 11th grade test.  The state has until today, February 11th , to respond to the court and the Education Law Center’s request to maintain the current pathways to graduation for the 2019 through 2022 graduates.

Continue reading Ridgewood BOE Attempts to Clear the Air on PARCC Tests
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Appellate Court Strikes Down New Jersey’s PARCC Graduation Testing Rules

April 20, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey struck down the New Jersey Department of Education’s (DOE) regulations designating the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) end-of-course exams as the requirement for obtaining a high school diploma.

The Court held that the current rules violated provisions of the Proficiency Standards and Assessments Act (Act). This statute, enacted by the Legislature in 1979 and amended in 1988, authorizes the DOE to administer a single, eleventh-grade test in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics to determine proficiency under state curriculum standards for graduation.

“Even before the regulations were enacted in 2016, we urged the Department of Education to withdraw these rules because they clearly violate state law. Today’s ruling vindicates our position,” said ELC Senior Attorney Jessica Levin. “We are ready to work with the Commissioner, the State Board of Education and the Legislature to respond to this ruling in a manner that complies with governing law and reflects sound education policy.”

Key elements of the Court’s ruling include:

  • The current rules violate the Act because they require PARCC ELA 10, administered in tenth grade, and Algebra I, which may be taken in any high school grade or earlier, instead of an eleventh-grade graduation test.  The Court held that “to the extent the regulations required testing of non-eleventh-grade students, they are contrary to the Act and are invalid.”
  • Administering multiple end-of-course exams for graduation contravenes the Legislature’s intent that a single graduation test be administered to eleventh-grade students.
  • The regulations do not fulfill the Act’s mandate that students be provided retesting opportunities on the designated graduation test.
  • The Act requires the DOE to give students access to a non-standardized test as a graduation alternative. The Court ruled the Act “compels DOE to provide for alternative methods of assessing proficiency other than through PARCC testing or any other standardized testing process.”

“The court struck down a graduation testing regime that was unfair to students and their families,” said Jeanne LoCicero, ACLU-NJ Legal Director.” We look forward to working with the State on new regulations that will comply with the law and remove barriers that disproportionately burdened poor students and English language learners.”

The court made clear that while the DOE may decide what test to use, “the regulations violate the Act to the extent they specifically authorize multiple tests administered in grades other than the eleventh grade.” The Court stayed its judgment for 30 days to permit the DOE to seek further review by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

The lawsuit challenging the regulations was brought by the Latino Action Network, the Latino Coalition of New Jersey, the Paterson Education Fund, the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, and Education Law Center (ELC). The groups are represented by ELC and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ).

More information about this lawsuit is available from the Education Law Center.

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NJ Education Commissioner Discusses PARCC Changes, Plans for New Statewide Assessment at Joint Assembly & Senate Education Committee Hearing

April 20, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, With changes slated for the PARCC test as part of the plan by the Murphy administration to transition to a different statewide assessment, the Assembly and Senate Education committees held a joint hearing on Monday to hear from the commissioner of education about the proposed changes to ensure they do not interfere with the delivery of education in the state.

The committees invited New Jersey Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont Repollet to discuss the department’s current policy on statewide assessments, its plans to transition into a new generation of tests and the use of student test scores to evaluate teacher performance.

Continue reading NJ Education Commissioner Discusses PARCC Changes, Plans for New Statewide Assessment at Joint Assembly & Senate Education Committee Hearing

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Reader says Rejecting PARCC is and has been an absolute imperative for years now

Ridgewood High School class of 2016

Well, rejecting PARCC is and has been an absolute imperative for years now. Don’t interrupt the iron triangle comprising the craven teachers union, the unabashedly corrupt educational establishment, and the paleoliberal progressive state government apparatchiks, when the same is doing something right for a change (even if by mistake).

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Moving Away From PARCC in Jersey could take years


July 12,2018

Carolee Adams from the  Stop Common Core in New Jersey.

Ridgewood NJ, Moving Away From PARCC in Jersey could take years.
From my perspective, the only positive of PARCC was that it mobilized the formerly silent majority of parents to actively voice their imperative opposition to the dumbing down of their children’s education; disrespect to parental rights; and at a huge, needless, wasteful cost to taxpayers.
Further, in my humble opinion, impediments like these continue to delay our desired move away from PARCC:
1. A Pearson contract already signed.
2. The less than cooperative pushback from NJ State Senator Theresa Ruiz (D), Chair, Senate Education Committee and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D). Why? Only a guess. Pearson Education is located in Hoboken – a Democratic stronghold. Hoboken would not want to risk losing one of its key, tax-paying corporations.
3. The unnecessary interference of FedEd via ESSA. Why do we even need the USDOE when NJ is a donor state sending far more money to DC/USDOE than we receive in return?!
At a roundtable discussion. our group’s suggestions were 2 tests in K-8 (i.e. 2nd or 3rd and 7th), and 1 test in the sophomore year of high school. Regarding tests, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills was the one most mentioned for K-8. ACT/SAT seemed less popular than ever before regarding high school testing. Fair Test is usually a good resource for test information.

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Murphy Administration Takes First Steps Toward Transition Away From PARCC

April 20, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon

July 11,2018

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.

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Sweeney, Ruiz say use of PARCC as graduation requirement violates legislative intent



04/21/17 07:20 PM EDT

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Sen. Teresa Ruiz, chair of the chamber’s Education Committee, penned a letter to state education officials this week, indicating that the use of PARCC as a high school exit exam violates legislative intent.

The letter, addressed to state Board of Education President Mark Biedron and acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington, asks the board to revise its rules governing graduation testing requirements. The letter comes a month after the state Assembly adopted a resolution (ACR215) which also stated that using PARCC to fulfill graduation testing requirements is inconsistent with legislative intent.

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The NJ Board of Education’s choice of PARCC as a HS graduation requirement is an overreach by the executive branch that the Legislature must correct

Sarah Blaine

On March 16, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed ACR-215, which is a resolution declaring that the state Board of Education’s new regulations requiring students to pass the PARCC Algebra 1 and the 10th grade PARCC English Language Arts tests to graduate from high school are “inconsistent with legislative intent.”

The existing law requires a comprehensive 11th grade test (which these two PARCC tests, neither of which is generally administered in 11th grade, are not). The resolution will not stop New Jersey’s schools from having to offer PARCC each year, but if adopted by the state Senate as well, it is a step toward ensuring that students will not have to pass PARCC to graduate from high school.

With this resolution, the Assembly took the first step in one process by which our New Jersey legislators can check the authority of our governor and his appointees (in this case, the state Board of Education): invalidating regulations that our Legislature determines are “inconsistent with legislative intent.” In English, that means that if the Legislature passes a law, and the executive branch decides to ignore the law and do something different, the Legislature can tell the executive branch: “No, you’re wrong, please go back to the drawing board.” Because this is a check on the executive branch’s authority, the governor’s signature is not required.

As at least 180,000 New Jersey students demonstrated by refusing to take PARCC tests in 2015 and 2016, opposition to PARCC testing is widespread. But leaving the substantive issues surrounding the PARCC test aside, important as they are, ACR-215 and its senate companion resolution, SCR-132, are about governance.  That is, in considering these resolutions, the key question our legislators must decide is whether they are willing to allow Gov. Chris Christie and the Christie-appointed Board of Education to openly ignore New Jersey law.

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New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passes PARCC Rollback Resolution

April 20, 2011 John de Rosier editorial cartoon
March 18th 2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey Assembly (ACR215) overwhelmingly passes. The bill is a major step in overturning the requirement to pass the PARCC test to graduate high school in New Jersey.

In a 67-3 vote,(67 Yeas; 3 Nays;2 Abstain; 8 Not Voting) the Assembly yesterday approved a joint resolution that would stop the state from requiring students to pass the PARCC tests for Algebra I and for 10th grade language arts to graduate. The requirement is in effect for the Class of 2021.

Local Assembly members Robert Auth (R-39) and Holly Schepisi (R-39) who voted YES along with 65 others!

Voting “No”: Asm. Anthony Bucco-R-25); Erik Peterson (R-23); and Jay Webber (R-26). Abstaining: Jon Bramnick (R-21); Gregory McGuckin (R-10).

Not Voting Michael Carroll (R-25); Joseph Egan (D-17); Reed Gusciora (D-15); Declan O’Scanlon (R-13); Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-29); Kevin Rooney (R-40); David Russo (R-40); David Wolfe (R-10.)

The Assembly has long been the center of PARCC dissent, the Senate has not taken any action President Steve Sweeney has yet to even post the companion resolution ( SCR132)  in committee. Sweeney has said he is not opposed to PARCC and raised the question about what would replace it.

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State Releases PARCC Scores for Ridgewood Schools


November 21,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,The Staate New Jersey released the latest PARCC standardized test results for every public school across the state on Wednesday, giving Ridgekwood parents a chance to see how their schools performed in math and English in grades 3-11.

Level 1: Not Yet Meeting Requirements
Level 2: Partially Meeting
Level 3: Approaching Expectations
Level 4: Meeting Expectations
Level 5: Exceeding Expectations