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4-21-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Hespe’s Headaches: PARCC Glitch, School Funding, Anti-Bullying . . .

Flaky PARCC server throws a pall over commissioner’s State House visit

It was not an auspicious day for state Education Commissioner David Hespe to go before the state Legislature.

The setting was Hespe’s annual -- and usually fairly routine -- appearance before the Assembly budget committee to discuss the proposed $13 billion budget plan for education in fiscal 2017.

But almost immediately, he faced questions about the breakdown in the state’s PARCC testing, which led to the exams being suspended for a day.

It didn’t get much better, with legislators probing him about everything from the Christie administration’s vast underfunding of the school finance law to the canceled aid for state’s anti-bullying measure. Also on the agenda, although a separate line of questioning, funds to better secure private schools.


John Mooney | April 21, 2016


NJ Spotlight--State Supreme Court Ruling on Public Employee Pensions Could Burden System

If top court decides to restore cost-of-living adjustments for retirees it could mean another $13B to state’s unfunded pension liability

A decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court could come down at any time on a major case involving the health of the state’s public-employee pension system. The impact of the high court’s ruling will be felt at first only by retired workers, but voters statewide also have a reason to pay close attention to the outcome.

At issue before the Supreme Court right now is whether Gov. Chris Christie and lawmakers had the legal standing in 2011 to suspend annual cost-of-living adjustments that retirees enrolled in the pension system had been receiving along with their regular benefit checks.


John Reitmeyer | April 21, 2016


Star Ledger--5 things to know about the PARCC exam crash in N.J.

What you need to know about the PARCC test scores NJ Advance Media's Adam Clark breaks down the PARCC test results.

Some New Jersey students expecting to participate in standardized testing Wednesday morning instead saw a blank screen because of a technological error with the operating system for the computerized exams.

The glitch led the state to mandate that all testing come to a halt on Wednesday afternoon as Pearson, the company that provides the tests, works to resolve the problem. 

Here are 5 things teachers, parents and students should know about about the PARCC tests problem in New Jersey

1. What happened? 

New Jersey is in the middle of administering its state math and English exams, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams. 

The tests are given to students in grades 3-11 throughout April, but many students were unable to log in to the tests Wednesday morning, according to the state. 

The problem stems from an issue with Pearson Access Next (PAN) system, according to the state. The system "serves as the entry point to all Pearson services used by school districts participating in the PARCC consortium," according to Pearson's website. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| on April 20, 2016 at 2:49 PM, updated April 20, 2016 at 6:00 PM