LIVINGSTON, NJ - As the new PARCC tests go live next week, members of the Livingston Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution explaining their reservations with the new exams and urged New Jersey lawmakers to delay the use of test results in evaluating schools, teachers and students.
“The rush to implement PARCC in an unreasonable timeframe has created organizational stresses including budgetary impacts, technological constraints, and reallocation of staff and other resources,” Board members said. (Click HERE to read the resolution in full).
Livingston High School (LHS) and fifth grade students will be the first in the District taking the online exams in math and language arts. The tests will take place the first three weeks in March for students in Grades 3-11. There will be a second round of PARCC testing in May. Test results will not be used for placements.
This will be Livingston’s first experience with assessments taken on computers. The District has been working to ensure Livingston students who typically perform well on tests, succeed with the PARCC. The testing time will vary from day to day, but all tests will be administered in the morning. Students are encouraged to get a good night’s rest and to arrive at school on time.
The PARCC tests have generated concerns and objections locally and statewide. In an effort to balance Livingston’s obligation to the state and also respect parental prerogatives in regards to their children, Livingston has accepted the personal decisions for families who decide to refuse the PARCC assessments. There were more “opt outs” than anticipated and the number continues to grow. The majority of refusals are at LHS.
Passing the PARCC is not a graduation requirement in New Jersey for current students at Livingston High School. Seniors will not be taking the exams and students graduating in 2016, 2017 and 2018 may use a number of other options to meet state graduation requirements including the ACT and SAT tests and a student portfolio prepared by school districts to document student mastery of the state proficiency standards in math and language arts, according to the state Department of Education. (See a full primer on the PARCC exam on the LPS website by clicking HERE).
Students not taking the tests must be on time for school—these students will be marked as non-participants. Livingston Public Schools asks for non-test taking students to bring a book or homework to keep them occupied during the hours of testing. See the testing schedule by clicking HERE.