EAST BRUNSWICK — Confusion over the wording of graduation requirements has a Central Jersey school district playing catchup on PARCC tests.

Many East Brunswick High School sophomores didn't take the PARCC English test because they thought by passing the test in the ninth grade, they had successfully fulfilled a graduation requirement.

When the New Jersey Department of Education issued a clarification of graduation requirements on May 18, administrators said that it was clear that students have to get a "valid" score on both the 10th and 11th grade tests in order to use the Grade 9 ELA passing score as a graduation requirement.

"The Department acknowledges that the chart that it issued in the summer of August 2017, that has been utilized by school districts with parents and students, in fact, contained incorrect information," read a message from District Testing Coordinator Nicole Tibbetts on the high school's website.

Students have a chance to take the test on Friday, and Tuesday of next week.

About 300 students in the Freehold Regional district at Colts Neck, Freehold, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro High School are affected, according to district spokeswoman Rebecca Policastro.

"We are hoping for a positive resolution prior to the fall so those affected do not have to take two large assessments in the same year," Policastro told New Jersey 101.5.

The DOE's clarification to administrators statewide noted that the initial guidelines went into effect on Sept. 6, but "could have been improperly interpreted if not read in its entirety." Students will have until January to take the test.

The requirements will eventually change again, as Gov. Phil Murphy said in January he will eliminate PARCC testing and replace it with another standardized test. But, Murphy admitted at the time, "The answer to the logistics of how it's done, honestly, I don't know."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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