State PARCC Screw Up Will Force Sophomores To Be Tested


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If you thought you were done with the PARCC test for this year, think again. Because of a screw up by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), any New Jersey high school sophomore who did not sit for the test will have to take it, and do so almost immediately.

According to an email that Verona public schools sent to parents and guardians of the Class of 2020 today, the NJDOE issued a chart in August 2017 about graduation requirements and the PARCC to all state public school districts. Verona included that chart in a letter about the standardized test sent to parents this March. The chart indicated that students in the Class of 2020 could meet graduation requirements by getting a passing score on the PARCC assessments, or through certain SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer scores. For special education students, or general education students who didn’t satisfy the first two criteria, a district could submit a portfolio demonstrating proficiency to the department.

But on May 11, the NJDOE posted on its website that it had changed the Class of 2020 graduation requirements chart. It didn’t send a letter to school districts clarifying the post until a week later–the Friday before PARCC testing began at VHS. Verona public school officials, and others around the state, immediately demanded that the NJDOE grant a waiver to the Class of 2020 because the department made the mistake, not the schools. As of today, the department hasn’t granted a waiver or taken responsibility for the faulty chart.

The NJDOE’s new chart means that grade 10 students are required to take every PARCC Algebra 1 and English Language Arts 10 test until they pass them in order to graduate. They can’t qualify for the alternate pathways to graduation until they pass those tests.

Any sophomore who did not sit for the PARCC this week–and apparently there were a lot–must participate in make-up tests that will be held from Tuesday, June 5 through Friday, June 9. Verona is also going to hold makeup test days over the summer.

Sophomore parents were told today that they will get an email from VHS next week about whether their student has met PARCC testing high school graduation requirements. The district is asking anyone who does not get an email by Friday, June 1, to contact Mrs. Newman at the high school counseling department at (973) 571-2029 ext. 1015. If you want to call the NJDOE instead, that number is (609) 376-3500, or you can use the contact form here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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