We Asked Christie: Is There Too Much School Testing in NJ?
There is mounting unhappiness about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, known as PARCC.
Students, parents and even teachers are worried valuable classroom time is being diverted to prepare for the exam, and many kids complain about the stress of taking it in March and again in May.
Thursday night on Townsquare Media's "Ask the Governor" program, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said what he is concerned about, in a general educational sense, is the state's Common Core Standards Initiative.
Several months ago, Christie established a commission to review the effectiveness of all K-12 assessments administered in New Jersey. The commission is going to be examining PARCC, but Christie said parents need to understand the need for student evaluations.
"There is going to be some type of testing," the governor said. "We need to gauge where our children are and if they're learning at a sufficient rate."
I understand that parents complain about tests, but they would also complain if we didn't test and we didn't know where they were, and they felt their child was falling behind and not getting the appropriate attention. We have to test children to see if they're learning. How else are we going to know if we're doing our jobs or we're not?"
Christie added the commission should come back in one to two months with a report on the situation, and possible recommendations.
"When they do, I will consider them, and see if there is any action I need to take in light of what they're recommending, but the bottom line here is simple," Christie said. "This is part of the 'every kid gets a trophy' society we've got, you know -- 'Oh, they're stressed, so let's not do it.' I mean, we all went through tests. We're alive, we're breathing, we're OK."
Christie also said the commission will hold a series of public hearings at the end of the month, to discuss the way assessment exams are handled.