Opinion: Governor Murphy Breaks Another Campaign Promise
Pretty much since it was implemented, parents and teachers alike have been decrying the new standard assessment test for New Jersey called PARCC. In the five years that it has been around, it has been an abject failure causing parents to have their children opt out of the testing all together. Assessment tests have long been controversial anyway, and PARCC is no different. Without going into all the tedious details, suffice it to say that it is widely understood that the test is no good.
This is why Governor Murphy, in one of his famous election promises, committed to get rid of the test from “day one” of his administration. He admitted then that the test was horrible, and calls it a failed experiment and, back then, even hinted that he might not replace it at all, saying that he wanted to move more into a “student-centered” teaching environment.
People were thrilled with that, and showed so in the voting booth. Like a lot of things Governor Murphy said to get elected, this was just big talk.
Now, of course, he is backpedaling—possibly due to pressures from the powerful teachers union (his de facto bosses), and the DOE, who claims PARCC needs to be left in place until 2022 to give them enough time to come up with a suitable replacement. So maybe the PARCC test will end a few years, and maybe it won’t. But as long as he got elected, will the Governor really care THAT much? Granted, it’s not as though he can just wave his wand and get rid of the test. But then why did he promise it so vehemently, allowing us to believe it was a fait accompli?
I’m not convinced that Murphy ever thought he really could eliminate the PARCC test. I don’t even know if he really thought it was that bad. I think he was just telling potential voters what he thought they wanted to hear, as is his habit.