NJEA: PARCC’ing it at 10% still isn’t good enough

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

10% is 10% too high, Save Jerseyans, according to the New Jersey Education Association.

On Tuesday, the NJEA offered a mixed response to a letter addressed to Commissioner of Education David Hespe from Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Education Committee Chair Teresa Ruiz; the legislative leaders, seeking to appease the powerful union, are asking the Christie Administration to keep students’ scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) as a 10% metric for the purposes of evaluating teachers.

parcc test“The percentage that counted for teacher evaluation was decreased to 10% through legislative leadership and department regulations,” the legislators explained in their letter. “This decrease showed a good faith effort to allow schools and teachers to adjust to the new statewide assessment over three years. We, as Legislators, always want to take a measured approach to policy. Teachers are the most important individuals when it comes to a child’s educational experience and we must ensure that we are taking a responsible approach.”

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer was thankful but not impressed.

“NJEA appreciates Senator Sweeney’s and Senator Ruiz’s acknowledgment that the stakes for PARCC should not be raised next year,” he began in a statement. “However, we still strongly support legislation placing a moratorium on all use of PARCC results for at least three years. Parents and educators alike are clearly very troubled by PARCC, and for good reason. We call on the Senate to pass all four bipartisan PARCC bills that have already passed the Assembly by overwhelming margins. Parents, students and educators deserve to know that legislators have heard them and are willing to act on their behalf. Passing those four bills is an important first step.”

Concerns over the test itself, the equity of its impact on teachers (see above), and a spooky spying scandal have eroded public confidence in the test, but any attempted changes to the status quo are likely to draw strong opposition from the Governor himself who recently warned that a growing number of PARCC opt-outs by parents on behalf of their kids (14% of 11th graders and growing) could result in higher taxes to compensate for lost aid.

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4 thoughts on “NJEA: PARCC’ing it at 10% still isn’t good enough

  1. It is all about the money. Sweeney, Christie, and Hespe are all working together on this one. They will not allow the 4 votes the Assembly passed unanamously, to come up for a vote, and they are threatening districts to cut funding. Correct me if I am wrong but Common Core and the PARCC testing that goes with it, are not legislative laws. They are forced mandates that have never been legislated. This is tyranny. Parents and teachers (No I am not a teacher, just a concerned informed parent) have no intention of lying down. It only pours fuel on the fire. New York is a prime example in case study of how that has worked for them. Christie keeps talking out of both sides of his mouth on this issue. When out of state he says he has concerns but when in state he tells us to get used to it. Real great Constitutional governor we got there, eh? And the opt out (refusals) are much higher than they will say. We have tried to do our own calculations but they will not release the info to us. We estimate on the low side around 60,000 state wide. The 2nd round should be higher. This is why they are threatening. Also Pearson is losing money on wall Street, so they are panicking.

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