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Poll: Should Students Have to Pass PARCC to Get Their 2016 Diplomas?

PARCC has been a problem all along. Is it fair to make it a graduation requirement for current high-school seniors?

The Education Law Center and at least a few school districts are urging New Jersey officials to rescind the decision to require the class of 2016 to pass the controversial Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in order to graduate.

ELC data shows that more than half of the current 12th grade class of 95,000 either did not take the PARCC language arts test -- a math test is also required -- or did not pass it. While most likely they will be able to use another test score to prove they deserve a diploma, there could be thousands who cannot graduate this year as a result, ELC officials warn. It's why they have filed suit against the state Department of Education.

Do you think New Jersey should use last year's first-ever PARCC test as a graduation requirement for the current senior class?

  • Yes. Everyone should stop whining about this. Testing is not new, so the outcry over this test was puzzling. The students should have taken it seriously and parents should not have allowed their children to skip the test. New Jersey has required a graduation test for decades. Now is not the time to stop.

  • Yes. The DOE gave schools, parents, and students plenty of notice when they declared in October 2014 that PARCC would be used as a graduation requirement. PARCC provides a good measure of the students' readiness to face college or work. If they don't graduate, it's their fault.

  • No. PARCC was a mess. Parents and students had every right to boycott it. Who knew it would count for graduation? The DOE turned a blind eye to the opt-out movement. Students were told there would be no consequences for not testing. Heck, even Gov. Chris Christie was waffling about his support for Common Core. And they don't even get another chance to take it, unlike previous tests. It's not fair to the current seniors to make them pay now when they didn't know all the ramifications last spring.

  • No. Use of the PARCC test as a graduation requirement is illegal. The DOE never changed the state regulations that say the High School Proficiency Assessment is the graduation test. The DOE changed the requirement in midstream for the current class and wants to count PARCC without the pilot period it has used in prior years when it has changed tests. Not all states require a graduation test. New Jersey shouldn't either. Now would be a good time to eliminate it and replace it with another measure showing the students are ready to graduate.

  • Maybe. Students should have to take a test before getting a diploma but there are too many questions surrounding the way PARCC was implemented and whether the DOE can legally require it this year so I'm not sure.

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