PARCC Town Hall Meeting – Watch it live
As the second round of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers testing gets underway in schools across the state, New Jersey 101.5 FM will host a special Town Hall program Tuesday to discuss where the PARCC program stands.
Host Eric Scott will take your calls as he is joined again by New Jersey Education Association President Wendell Steinhauer, who is opposed to the test, and Dr. Sandra Alberti, an educator and the former director of Academic Standards for the NJ Department of Education who helped design the current exam.
Many students who took the test found it to not be as difficult as feared with many of the technical glitches fixed. However, it is not known how New Jersey students performed on the test.
New Jersey Education commissioner David Hespe continues to warn about the loss of federal education funding if at least 95 percent of students do not take the test. Hespe called PARCC an "indispensable instructional tool" that sets high standards for career and college readiness. The question also remains of how best to handle students who opt-out.
Lawmakers are concerned about the the ulterior motive of the PARCC testing.
"We have a five-year, $100 million contract with an outside vendor. I'm not so certain that that's anything other than a money grab, as opposed to in the best interest of evaluating our teachers and our students," said Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman John McKeon (D-Madison).
The NJEA and its members are worried about how the test results will weigh in teacher evaluations. Lawmakers and Hespe would like student performance to count for 10 percent of teachers' evaluations for another year although eventually Hespe would like that number raised to 30%.
Kevin McArdle and Toni Antonelli contributed to this report.