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5-5-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--PARCC Foes Vow to Keep Fighting High-School Graduation Requirement

Teachers Union, anti-test activists confront state Board of Education in battle that also involves the Legislature and courts.

With no sign of a compromise over the Christie administration’s plan to use the controversial online PARCC tests as the main high school graduation exam, the state teachers union and school activists say they are digging in and preparing for a fight that could last for years.

The DOE is gradually phasing in the requirement that high-school students pass two Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests, in Algebra I and 10th grade language arts. This year PARCC is one of several exams they may choose from, but it will become the only test option when current seventh graders reach the end of high school in 2021. Those who fail will still be able to graduate by submitting a portfolio of work demonstrating their academic skills.


Meir Rinde | May 5, 2016


Star Ledger--N.J. revises, renames Common Core academic standards

TRENTON — Nearly a year after Gov. Chris Christie declared that Common Core academic standards were "simply not working" in New Jersey, the state has adopted a revised and renamed version with few substantial departures from the original. 

The state Board of Education on Wednesday gave final approval to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, a roadmap that will outline what skills students should learn in each grade level. 

"It won't be substantially different," said Mark Biedron, president of the state board. "We looked at everything to make sure that it was crystal clear, age appropriate. Yes, there were some changes, but there were not major changes."


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com |May 04, 2016 at 4:06 PM, updated May 05, 2016 at 3:17 AM


The Record--An extra boost toward graduation in Englewood

Just a few months ago, nearly half of the seniors at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood were at risk of not graduating, prompting a last-ditch effort to help them earn the test scores they needed to earn a diploma.

Those 77 students, many of whom speak English as a second language, had not scored high enough on tests the state requires for graduation. The primary exam is Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, but others, such as the SAT and ACT, could be used to meet the requirement.

Since early March, the students have attended four-hour tutoring sessions on Saturday mornings. The sessions, taught by eight teachers, targeted the skills the students needed to pass alternative tests or an appeal to the state Department of Education.

“We’re giving them everything we can to make sure that every kid gets the required tests and assessments,” Superintendent Robert Kravitz said.

Across North Jersey, Clifton, Paterson, Wayne and other districts reported that a larger than usual number of students were at risk of not graduating this year because they skipped or scored too low on the PARCC test and had not met benchmarks in other exams that they could use for graduation.