The New Jersey Department of Education announced the first steps to transition away from using PARCC as the state’s annual assessment required under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Governor Phil Murphey (D-NJ) said in January that it was time for the state to get rid of PARCC.
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) held a two-month, 21-county tour to collect recommendations from a reported 2,300 students, teachers, school administrators, education advocates, and community leaders.
“Because of a focused, concentrated effort to reach out to New Jersey residents and to give them a voice at the table, we are on a clear path away from PARCC,” Murphy said in a released statement. “By making the transition in phases, we can ensure a smooth implementation in schools across the state and maintain compliance with current state and federal requirements.”
“A stronger, fairer New Jersey means one that prioritizes outreach and collaboration when making policy decisions,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet in a statement for the NJDOE press release. “My staff and I went on a listening tour across the state to ensure that we understood the scope of interest, and we moved forward having considered the needs of students, educators, and broader community members in building the next generation assessment system by New Jersey, for New Jersey.”
NJDOE says the transition will occur over multiple stages, and PARCC will not be fully replaced until the 2020-2021 school year.
NJDOE, upon New Jersey State Board approval, plans to reduce the number of required tests for graduation from high school from six to two. They also plan to provide flexibility for first-year English learners on the English language proficiency test. They also plan to ensure that educators and parents receive test data in a timely manner. Currently, that data is not provided until after the school year ends.
They also plan to immediately reduce the length of testing for all grades by 25 percent and reduce the weight of the assessment on teacher evaluations.
Parental opt-outs were not addressed.
You can read the report and draft regulations. NJDOE says they will start the second phase of assessment outreach this summer that will continue through the 2018-2019 school year that will focus on the “more complicated questions and issues” addressed during their tour.