SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta school district is holding a parent information session about the upcoming PARCC testing on Wednesday, Feb 18. The meeting will be held in the Media Center at Sparta High School beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The session will be presented by the curriculum department and will include an information presentation, question and answer period and the opportunity for anyone interested to take a practice test on one of the computers in the media center.
The newest mandated testing from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC is scheduled to be administered throughout the state and the country beginning in March. Students in grades three through 11 will be tested on standards covered in the Common Core State Standards or simply the Core as the curriculum is called. The new format requires the student to take the test online. The PARCC will replace the NJASK which had been the state standardized test in New Jersey since 2003 school year.
The new tests have been the source of controversy in New Jersey and many other states. There are concerns being voiced by parents and educators including the appropriateness of the rigor of the tests, the technology readiness of the students and districts and the impact of the tests themselves.
Last week the NJ Legislature stepped back, if only a bit, from the PARCC, with legislation passing out of the Assembly Education Committee. If passed by the full body, it would cover the next three years beginning with the school year 2015-16. The bill would not allow the test to be used as part of teacher evaluations. Students are not affected by this year’s test scores as they are not expected to be available until the beginning of the next school year. It is not slated to affect graduation until 2019.
There is currently no opt-out option recognized by the NJ Department of Education.