Update on NJ PARCC: The Big Changes



Back in November, Lakeland sophomores started prepping for the upcoming New Jersey Student Learning Assessments-ELA (PARCC) using tools like CommonLit.org.

Spring testing is coming up for New Jersey high school students, and there are some big changes in the works for the upcoming PARCC test that could influence the future of the standardized tests in the state, including its name.  

The PARCC will no longer be called that, but the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments-ELA (NJSLA-ELA) for English/language arts and New Jersey Student Learning Assessment-Mathematics (NJSLA-M) for math, according to a press release from the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) in October of 2018. The state ended their membership with the original provider of the tests, so naturally, the name change came with it.

The second major change students will see this spring is in the test time.  As reported by the Lancer’s Sergei O’Hernandez in November, the test will also be reduced from three to two 90-minute sections for each subject (math and English). According to the state DOE, they didn’t want testing to take up most of the spring instructional time, so they decided to cut the testing time down.  Reports from Press of Atlantic City had a DOE spokesperson saying, “Depending on the grade and subject, it will be approximately 25 percent less testing.”

Finally, one of the biggest changes is about passing the PARCC, or the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments, to graduate high school, which has been a controversy for some time. As reported O’Hernandez, it was proposed this past fall that the state test not be the only assessment option for a graduation requirement. On December 31, 2018, a three-judge panel decided to strike down the DOE’s decision that students must pass state testing to graduate. However, the state has challenged this ruling, so this is currently a wait-and-see ruling to those who are or will be affected by these decisions.

Although these three big changes have been set in motion already, it doesn’t mean there won’t be some more tweaks on the PARCC or New Jersey Student Learning Assessments-ELA before testing in spring.

The Lancer Ledger will continue to follow this developing story.