WEST ORANGE, NJ — Due to an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that requires schools to ensure that the at least 95 percent of students to take annual state assessments, West Orange Superintendent of Schools Jeffrey Rutzy said on Monday that is now imperative for all students to take the Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.

“Once you are over the 5 percent non-use threshold for students opting out of PARCC, then it shows failing scores for those who don’t take the test,” said Rutzky, added that this brings down the scores for the entire district. “We are encouraging everyone to take PARCC, and do their best with it. It hurts the community if we go over the 5 percent no-take threshold.”

He also urged students to take the test seriously.

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“If they did so, they would do very well,” he said.  

Rutzky added that Gov. Phil Murphy has indicated that the PARCC test could disappear next year, and that although he is not a fan of PARCC, he is “concerned” about what will replace it.

A letter recently sent from the WOBOE to district parents explained that there is no approved opt-out of this year’s PARCC test as in past years. Parents refusing to allow students in grades 9-11 to take the test must submit a letter to the student’s counselor regarding this refusal by March 29.

According to the WOBOE letter, no email refusals by parents will be accepted for this purpose.

To read more about this meeting, where the board approved a new teacher-evaluation model, click HERE.

The next WOBOE meeting is April 16.