VERONA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Taking a controversial standardized test will no longer be a graduation requirement in New Jersey.
It’s been an ongoing battle for some parents at odds with PARCC, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test.
A compromise has now been reached with the state’s Board of Education.
“Very importantly students will take fewer PARCC exams in high school. For most goes down from 6 exams to 4 exams,” Steve Baker of the New Jersey Education Association told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Only freshmen and sophomores will take the English and math tests.
The NJEA says this means less intrusion on class time; a complaint from many parents who say that teachers are teaching to the exams and not the textbook.
Another significant difference, PARCC will not be a graduation requirement moving forward.
“We were looking down the barrel of a graduation crisis in New Jersey,” the teacher’s union spokesperson said.
Instead of PARCC, students can use scores on alternative tests like the SAT or ACT to meet graduation requirements.
Some parents CBS2 spoke with say they are still concerned about the amount of time younger grades spend on testing.
“It’s driving the curriculum in the early grades,” parent Beth O’Donnell Fischer said.
Student Kitty Pagano says she realized this when she got into college because she used to just learn and memorize in high school.
“I was trained into just spitting out and regurgitating information. In college… the professors want my interpretation,” Pagano said.
“PARCC and standardized learning is not preparing us for college, careers, or life as problem solvers in this country.”
Gov. Murphy campaigned to get rid of the controversial standardized tests. Many other states already dropped it. New Jersey is one of only two states still using the PARCC tests.
The revised requirements will be in effect until the class of 2025 graduates.