NJ Governor-Elect Murphy Calls For End to PARCC Testing, Unpopular in Bernards and Elsewhere

Bernards Township parents crowded, and mostly spoke against, the implementation of the statewide standardized PARCC test more than two years ago. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos

TRENTON, NJ. - He called for its end during his campaign for New Jersey's governor -- and now Governor-Elect Phil Murphy has placed PARCC testing for the state's students on the ropes for real.

This past Friday, the Governor-Elect announced that Asbury Park School District Superintendent Lamont Repollet will lead the State Education Department, before he pivoted to PARCC testing.

'End the failed experiment'

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“We are asking Dr. Repollet to end the failed experiment that has been PARCC testing and create new, more effective and less class time-intrusive means for measuring student assessment,”  said Murphy.

A majority of Bernards Township parents publicly and vehemently opposed the implementation of the standardized Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers  (PARCC) in the local school system even before the statewide test debuted more than two years ago. Local opponents agreed with Murphy's point that the PARCC test took took too much class time for preparation.

The end of PARCC test in New Jersey is not a new concept. However, the imminent demise in the Governor-Elect's forecast will certainly create waves of conversation throughout the state education circles.

Students in Bernards and elsewhere exercised option to 'opt out' of the test 

Many parents and students have chosen to opt out of the test in the past, in Bernards Township, and other school systems in the state.

Bernards Township Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian encouraged parents to allow students to take the test, and to do their best. However, the school district also posted instructions for parents to follow in order to refuse to allow their children to take the multi-day, online test that is administered at most grade levels.

Based on the Governor-Elect's comments, scrapping of the entire program appears likely. PARCC assessments started in the spring of the 2014-15 school year and have been a source of controversy both before and since. During the campaign, Murphy had called for shorter tests with a greater level of teacher feedback to students. There was no clarity in what might replace PARCC testing, if anything.

Murphy to be sworn in as New Jersey governor on Tuesday

Tuesday at 11 the swearing-in of Governor-Elect Murphy. Parents, students and educators will have much to hear about in the weeks and months ahead.

- Linda Sadlouskos contributed to this story

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