Sun Editorial: PARCC is going away — eventually

The governor’s “Day One” promise might be a few years off.

By: Alan Bauer

The Sun

Gov. Murphy campaigned on a promise to get rid of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It was a priority, in fact, as in gone on “Day One.”

That’s not going to happen. It’ll be more like “gone by Year Four.” It’s not Murphy’s fault. It’s just that getting rid of PARCC, and replacing it with something else, will take time.

The state already is forming an advisory committee to look into a change and holding meetings across the state to gather input. So, yeah, eventually, it seems, PARCC will go away.

But the state can’t simply say “no more PARCC.” Some type of standardized testing is a must. The challenges of ending PARCC and putting something else in place are many.

A lot of folks are ready for a change. PARCC was met with resistance — and low student participation — from the beginning. Some claimed it was unfair or just too difficult. Teachers didn’t like their evaluations tied to the score. Concerns were raised — and still exist — about the large number of students not passing PARCC. That’s of particular concern for this year’s freshmen, who have to pass it to graduate in four years.

But what will replace it? How much will it cost to replace it? How long will it take develop a test to replace it? How long will that test be, well, tested, to make sure it is better than PARCC? And once a replacement is developed, how long will it take to implement it in the schools?

Answering these questions and meeting all of the federal guidelines for standardized testing will take time and probably money. So “Day One” isn’t going to happen. Neither is “Year One.”

Rest assured, if you don’t like PARCC, the test will go away. But just not as quickly as many of its detractors would like.