WEST ORANGE, NJ – Lately, with every new school year, it seems a new standardized test is introduced. From the NJASK to the New Jersey Biology Competency Test to PSATs, SATs, ACTs, and now there is yet another test to add to the ongoing list—The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
The PARCC test is meant to substitute for the NJASK and is said to measures real world skills that colleges value, like critical thinking and problem solving. The test, which will be taken by students in grades three – 12 across New Jersey, will start on March 2 in West Orange.
However, in West Orange, many students and parents are not accepting this new test with open arms. Students especially are weary about how the results of this test will affect them in future years. Although the test is said to require skills that will be necessary in college, and will provide a means of assessing and improving classroom performance, there are many unanswered questions and there is much disorganization with less than a month to go until the test is administered.
After taking a practice math section on Thursday, Feb. 12, at West Orange High School (WOHS), junior Brittany Eng said, “I felt a bit stressed and definitely time crunched. Also, many people were having technological issues and couldn’t even take the test.”
Technology has been another difficulty at several schools. Many schools are struggling to pull together the computers, properly equipped testing rooms and the Wi-Fi infrastructures needed to handle the volume of testing.
Parents have also been curious as to whether their child/children can opt out from taking the test and if there will be consequences that accompany this decision. However, news has been circulating that schools are required to test at least 95 percent of their students in order to qualify for funding.
Many students, especially those in AP and/or Honors classes, feel as though the PARCC is simply taking time out of instructional time. AP students are especially worried about how this will affect AP exams, which take place during the first two weeks of May.
Junior, Dasha Temniy explained, “The PARCC is yet another test that nobody is taking seriously.”
The fact remains that there are many unanswered question involved with this test, and that students will just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
Below are recent TAP PARCC articles:
Anita Calmday is a junior at West Orange High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into West Orange.