The PARCC testing of New Jersey public school students has been controversial since before the launch of the exams four years ago, with vocal groups of parents organizations, lawmakers and the largest teachers union all critical of the lengthy tests of language arts and math.
Now that the Murphy administration is moving to reduce and ultimately end the use of the online testing, its proponents are raising their voices.
On Monday, during a joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly education committees, both committee chairs sought to slow down the administration’s efforts to scale back PARCC testing, saying the state needs to have a new assessment in place to replace it. Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), head of the Senate Education Committee, even said she wants to have a say in the decision and suggested the state needs to be assessing student performance against even stronger standards.
An avowed opponent of high-stakes testing, Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to PARCC but deferred to his state education commissioner to set the schedule for phasing out the test. Ultimately, the decision will be up to the state Board of Education, which has delayed making a decision until at least next month.