TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey might bar using a new standardized test as a way to determine placement for three years.

A parent voices her concerns about the PARCC test during a hearing in Jersey City last month. (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

An Assembly panel approved on Thursday two bills that address the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests.

One bars the Department of Education from using the test to determine whether students qualify for gifted programs, grade promotion or graduation for three years.

Another bars it from being administered to students in kindergarten through the 2nd grade.

A third would let parents exclude their children from taking it was discussed, but was not voted on.

“I am not anti-testing. I am pro evidence. I have no problem with kids taking a tough test, but it needs to be fair,” said South Brunswick parent Lisa Rodgers who is opting her child out of the PARCC exams.

The new tests are set to begin next month and would be given to all public school students in third through 11th grade.

The tests have drawn criticism from parents who question their effectiveness.

“We have to have assessments. It’s just that this PARCC is not in my mind the answer to what we need,” said Assembly Education Committee Chairman Pat Diegnan (D-South Plainfield). “I am not advising or recommending that we don’t take the test for the next three years.”

 

Kevin McArdle contributed to this report.

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