Court Overturns New Jersey’s PARCC Graduation Requirement

A state appellate court ruled unanimously on Monday against the New Jersey Department of Education’s requirement that students pass two assessments before they graduate.

Unfortunately, it is due to the number of tests required, not the requirement itself. The Associated Press reports:

The unanimous decision was made public Monday but won’t take effect for 30 days. It invalidates the state Department of Education’s requirement that students must pass standardized exams —commonly known as the PARCC tests — in Algebra I and English.

The three-judge panel found the requirement — which was approved in 2016 and was due to take effect with the class of 2020 — doesn’t match a state law that requires students to pass just a single test in 11th grade in order to graduate.

“We do not intend to micromanage the administration of the proficiency examination mandated by the (law),” the judges wrote in their 21-page opinion. The 30-day delay for the ruling to take effect gives the state time to appeal to the state Supreme Court if it wants and avoids disrupting any ongoing statewide administration of proficiency examinations.

I would not be surprised if the state argues that PARCC is, in reality, one test, and the Algebra I and English tests, are just sections in that one assessment.

So, I would not get excited that the graduation requirement is gone for good. The PARCC graduation requirement in New Jersey has been an impediment to the opt-out movement in the state. Parents should be able to determine whether their student takes a standardized assessment like this, not the state.

It’s unfortunate the court did not recognize that.

One thought on “Court Overturns New Jersey’s PARCC Graduation Requirement

  1. Four tests are required for graduation in Texas…English I and II, biology, and algebra I. There is no getting out of it. Shane writes, “Parents should be able to determine whether their student takes a standardized assessment like this, not the state.” I couldn’t agree more. But, the state(s) don’t really care about what parents want for their own kids unless it suits the state/district/school.

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