Murphy still wants to dump the PARCC test, but he can’t do it right now
Gov. Phil Murphy has confirmed he’s still planning to phase out the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, more commonly known as PARCC, as a requirement to graduate from New Jersey high schools. But it’s going to take a bit longer than planned.
In the meantime, students who took the test as freshmen and thought they had completed the PARCC requirement are going to be forced to take it again as sophomores and juniors.
During New Jersey 101.5’s "Ask the Governor" program on Thursday, Murphy was asked by a caller why he hadn’t yet gotten rid of PARCC after promising during the campaign to do so on his first day in office.
“I have not changed my opinion one bit on PARCC,” he said.
Murphy went on to say he’s not against testing kids in high school but I think we want it done in a meaningful way so that we’re not teaching to the test, you know a white knuckle experience, once a year.”
Murphy pointed out the PARCC not only impacts students but it can also weigh heavily on teachers and schools.
“I’m a bigger fan of lower stakes, more frequent, quicker feed-back assessments that focus on learning and not teaching to the test, I haven’t changed one bit on that.”
So why not get rid of PARCC immediately?
Murphy said unfortunately, he’s learned that’s simply not possible.
“This was already contracted for this school year, to some extent I think the questions are contracted for one more year.”
He went on to say education officials are moving forward “over the next number of months, I think six months, having an open discussion as to what’s the right testing regime in this state.”
When New Jersey 101.5 contacted the Department of Education late Thursday to get clarification on whether students who have already taken the PARCC test will need to take it again, and if so when they would have to take the exam, a spokeswoman issued an emailed response:
“We recognize that there is some confusion and misinterpretation regarding standards for class of 2020 and have sought to clarify with additional guidance. The staff from the Office of Assessments is working now with schools and districts to provide alternative testing opportunities for students who did not participate in the PARCC assessments necessary to meet their graduation requirement. Students can take the assessment this spring, or the summer or next fall.”
When Murphy was asked whether students who already took PARCC will be required to take it again, he indicated his Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet will be reviewing the situation and “I’m confident we’ll get a sensible solution.”