NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Though the results are pretty much as expected, the data gleaned from a Spring 2016 survey of 1,285 teachers in a dozen Middlesex County districts reveals that 60% of students, parents, and teachers showed a high level of stress and anxiety caused by the PARCC assessments.
At a Press conference in the Heldrich Hotel last week, State Senator Patrick J. Diegnan (D) asserted that Governor Christie's vascillating support of the PARCC is a "textbook example of how not to mount legislation." Diegnan, who has long been an outspoken critic of the computer-driven standardized testing program based on the Common Core standards, continued, "Every day the clock is ticking and nothing will happen until Christie leaves office."
Diegnan noted that "We have to be vigilant" as the New Jersey State Board of Education continues to support success on the PARCC as a graduation requirement. Last month, the BOE pushed the Grade 10 English/Language Arts test and the Algebra I tests as graduation requirements for the class of 2021. (These students are currently in Grade 8.)
"We need to find alternatives," said Diegnan, "No 'one-size-fits-all' approach ever works." The senator suggested that a study group of teachers and other stakeholders in New Jersey's testing work on a plan for graduation that addresses learning and individual student achievement. No New Jersey teachers were involved with either the development of the Common Core or the PARCC.
"PARCC was created to evaluate teachers, not students, " Diegnan said, referring to protests by both the NJEA and parent activists over the testing and its impact on the climate and focus in New Jersey's public schools.