Ending the Era of High-Stakes Testing

“The era of high stakes, high stress standardized tests in New Jersey must end, and I will see that it does. We must get back to the simple premise of letting teachers use classroom time to teach to their students’ needs, and not to a test.”

Last August, the State Board of Education passed a resolution making passage of the nationalized PARCC tests a requirement for graduation. PARCC tests are considered by many educational experts to be outdated, expensive, and not helpful to students. They have also been criticized by teachers, parents, and school administrators alike for taking away too much classroom instruction time and for forcing curricula to align with test topics to ensure higher scores. New Jersey is an outlier in its reliance on PARCC: only a handful of states still use the test, and only one other state is using it as a graduation requirement.

Phil Murphy is committed to ending New Jersey’s reliance on PARCC tests and eliminating standardized testing as a requirement for graduation. If elected, he would direct the state Department of Education to work with educators to create an assessment that would meet the federal reporting requirements of ESSA. He also would eliminate passage of a standardized test as a graduation requirement.

Phil believes that standardized tests have a role, but we should not be overly reliant on them. And as he has said throughout his campaign, “Good teachers and good students can have bad test days. Too much emphasis is being put on a single test, as opposed to weighing a student’s progress through years of instruction.”

Specifically, Phil will:

  • End PARCC testing;
  • Eliminate the exit test graduation requirement; and
  • Solicit educator input to take advantage of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which gives states the ability to develop innovative, lower-stakes assessments that will reduce student and educator stress, and save valuable classroom time and money.