Only One in Nine New Jersey Seniors Used PARCC to Graduate

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The Press of Atlantic City reported last week that very few New Jersey seniors took PARCC in order to graduate last school year.

Only one of every nine high school seniors in the Class of 2016 met the New Jersey graduation test requirement by passing the state PARCC exams in language arts and math, according to data released by the state Department of Education.

Almost half of the 96,300 seniors met the testing requirement by taking a state-approved substitute test, such as the SAT, PSAT, ACT or Accuplacer.

….“The data shows that the NJDOE’s new graduation policies are educationally unsound and need to be revised before they undermine New Jersey’s high school graduation rate, which is currently the second highest in the nation,” said Stan Karp, director of ELC’s (Education Law Center) Secondary Reform Project. “If these rules had been in full effect last year, over 80,000 students would have needed portfolio appeals to graduate in addition to taking multiple layers of standardized tests.”

The PARCC test is scheduled to be a requirement for graduation starting with the Class of 2021, although state education officials have said they will monitor the test’s progress and adapt as necessary.

Some students did not take the PARCC because they knew they could meet the requirement using a substitute test. Students won’t have to pass the Algebra I and English Language Arts 10 tests to graduate until 2021.

As this mandate rolls out, I agree with the Education Law Center it is going to start causing some problems for New Jersey students.