NJ Moves to Eliminate Graduation Test in High School
Plans are finally advancing to eliminate the high school graduation proficiency test as a requirement to receive a diploma in New Jersey.
New Jersey is one of just a few states that still require students to pass a standardized test in order to graduate.
Many education advocates believe regular grades and other factors are a better indicator of a student's proficiency and readiness for higher education. There is also growing sentiment that students are tested too much.
Studies have shown that other metrics, such as grade point average, can predict the likelihood of graduation from college up to five times better than standardized test scores. - Bill A4639, to eliminate the NJ high school graduation proficiency test
The bill (A4639) is sponsored in the Assembly by Mila Jasey, D-Essex and Morris, and prohibits "the State Board of Education from including in the standards for graduation from high school a requirement that students achieve satisfactory performance on the Statewide graduation proficiency test."
Jasey claims in her bill, "Studies have shown numerous flaws with standardized testing, including variation in student performance based on external circumstances, strong racial and socioeconomic biases, and inconsistency with material taught in class."
The effort to eliminate the standardized testing requirement has been ongoing since 2019.
Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned on a promise to eliminate the use of PARCC, short for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The tests were ultimately renamed and made shorter but the graduation requirement was kept in place.
At one point, New Jersey was one of 27 states to tie graduation to the passage of a high-school standardized test. Only eight states, including New Jersey, still have the requirement.
The New Jersey Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, supports the elimination of the test requirement saying time spent prepping for the test could be better used to help prepare students for future success.
A stop in the Assembly Education Committee is just the first step in efforts to change student evaluations for graduation. The bill must pass the full Assembly and Senate before being sent to Gov. Murphy for consideration.
More than 100,000 New Jersey 11th graders are currently taking the test this week. If supporters of this measure are successful, no other classes will have to sit for the exam in order to graduate.
What is on the test? Click HERE to view a sample and test your own knowledge of what our kids are being taught in public schools.