The New Jersey State Board of Education wants to eliminate opt-outs. The best way to do that? Make PARCC a graduation requirement, and they are on the verge of doing just that.
The state Board of Education on Wednesday took the first of two votes needed to finalize graduation requirements for the classes of 2020 and 2021, students currently in eighth and seventh grade.
The proposal, approved without opposition from board members, would effectively eliminate those students’ ability to “opt-out” of the state math and English tests, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams.
About 25 people protested prior to the meeting, holding signs such as “PARCC is a farce” and chanting “two, four, six, eight, no PARCC to graduate.” Some said they think students are being set up to fail on PARCC so that Gov. Chris Christie can close schools with low tests scores and open charter schools in their place.
Current eighth-graders would need to pass the PARCC tests in algebra I and 10th-grade English to meet the state’s standardized testing requirements for graduation.
Like current high school students, they would also be able to fulfill that requirement through the SAT, ACT or other tests. However, they would only be allowed to use alternative tests if they have participated in all possible PARCC exams, which are given in grades 3-11 in both math and English.
This tramples on parental rights, plain and simple. This board is unelected and unaccountable to the people, and they are acting like tyrants not representatives of the people. This new proposal is open to a 60 day commenting period before the board takes a final vote.