The Voyager

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Shortlived PARCC hopefully meets its deserved end

Artwork+by+Sakshi+Sehrawat
Artwork by Sakshi Sehrawat

Artwork by Sakshi Sehrawat

Artwork by Sakshi Sehrawat

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 PARCC and standardized tests have long been a topic of contention and heated debate.

 With Governor Murphy’s new plan to remove PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness For College and Careers, within the next year, the debate has been rekindled as to whether or not PARCC has a place in New Jersey schools.

 The PARCC tests students based on English Language Literacy and Mathematics to determine what it takes for students “to succeed in entry-level, college courses and relevant technical courses” and “the knowledge, skills, and practices students performing at a given level are able to demonstrate at any grade,” according to PARCC’s official website.

  The test assesses students on on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 indicating the greatest need for improvement in a student’s performance and 5 indicating the strongest performance. The test is transitioning towards being completely administered through technology, and in the 2015-2016 school year, the vast majority of students took the test on a computer.

  As of April 2018, the states that have active PARCC membership are the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

  New Jersey is the only state with intent to withdraw membership.

 At Eastern High School, many students do not take the test as seriously as they should, with a plethora of students “opting-out,” or “refusing.”

  An overwhelming amount of the Voyager staff had “refused”  in past years. Some said that they thought it was a pointless test and didn’t feel the need to participate because it didn’t count against them, while others were able to automatically opt out because they fulfilled testing requirements just by being in AP English classes or Pre-Calculus. Because passing the PARCC test is not a graduation requirement for students graduating in 2018 and 2019, students were also able to opt out with certain SAT scores.

  It’s almost as if PARCC had a foreseeable end as soon as it began. The technology aspect was a learning curve that never truly saw a resolution.

  While PARCC was busy attempting to incorporate new technologies to stay on top of trends, test creators never considered how students like their schooling to be separate from their technology. The time it takes to figure out how to insert a square root on an iPad is time wasted on answering another question.

  Many consider PARCC to be an outdated assessment that takes away from class time and forces curriculum to align with material covered on the PARCC test. Governor Murphy’s platform has always been committed to ending reliance on PARCC testing and putting an end to the practice of standardized testing for graduation requirements.

  So far, the first steps towards ending PARCC testing have been made, with the state Department of Education soon forming a testing advisory committee to find a replacement.

  It is unclear what this replacement will be, and since the SAT seems to be an unpopular contender, the state has a lot of searching to do. Most of the staff has no issue with this change as it’s considered to be a waste of precious school time for everyone involved.

  Bad test scores reflect badly on teachers, students, and the school district. Since Eastern’s scores must be skewed from so many refusals, it is a poor reflection on our excellent learning community that everyone involved in has worked tirelessly to accommodate and accomplish.

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The Student News Site of Eastern Regional High School
Shortlived PARCC hopefully meets its deserved end