New Jersey has the power to end PARCC, NJEA president says
At a recent public hearing on Gov. Chris Christie's budget proposal, NJEA president Wendell Steinhauer said one action taken by New Jersey could force the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests to disappear forever.
The next round of PARCC testing in New Jersey will take place in May. The New Jersey Education Association has been a very vocal critic of the exams.
"I'd like to see PARCC just go away. I'd like to be the next state to drop out. There's only 12 left in there and quite frankly they need five million students to make it profitable. You (New Jersey) drop your million out and that would be the end of PARCC," Steinhauer said.
The PARCC is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that with the goal of measuring whether students are on track to be successful in college and in the workforce.
"These high quality, computer-based K-12 assessments in mathematics and english language arts/literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information about whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs," according to statement on the website.
The NJEA is not against standardized tests. It is against tests the members believe are "flawed" such as PARCC, Steinhauer said.
"To put an onerous PARCC test with computers and everything into it and taking away from the time for children for academics, is just, I don't want to say cruelty, but it is cruel," Steinhauer said.
Thursday, the full NJ Assembly approved a bill to allow parents to opt their children out of the PARCC tests. An identical bill was introduced in the State Senate. If it passes the full Upper House and is signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie the policy could be in place by the start of the next school year.