PARCCing Our Way into College


PARCC Testing

Sarah Ahmad, Marjes Castillo, and Abby Reicher

PARCC testing is officially done. Teachers and students alike prepared for weeks for the big standardized test of the year.  Many say that they know what PARCC is; however, do they know all of the background information? This informative article provides a substantial amount of  information for students and parents regarding this assessment.

State testing has been a student requirement ever since 1981, where according to State of New Jersey Department of Education, ninth-graders were required to pass The Minimum Basic Skills Test. This test was a requirement to receive a high school diploma. However, what is the main purpose of the assessment, PARCC? To begin with, PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career Business. Students of New Jersey were required to take the NJ ASK assessment in grades 3-8 during the 2014-2015 school years. The two sections within this assessment are the English Language Arts (ELA) and the mathematics portion.

There are many important things to know about the PARCC testing. First, students have the ability to opt-out. Other schools such as Livingston School reported that every one in four students have refused to take the test. Also, since this test is taken on a computer, students face some glitches with the technology. Some problems that were faced included computers freezing, headphones not working, and trouble logging in and out of the test. In addition, Governor Chris Christie defended the PARCC testing, which coordinates with Common Core, when asked about the exams

Common Core is known as a set of educational standards for teaching and testing both English and mathematics, between kindergarten and 12th grade. Standards that should be evaluated are research-and evidence-based, understandable, and consistent.  Some opinions say that the Common Core is the most effective way to get the same educational standards throughout the United States. Forty-two states, including the District of Columbia, four territories, and Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), have adopted Common Core in the past five years. 

 All kinds of opinions have been formed towards standardized tests in general, but opinions strongly vary regarding this assessment. PARCC has many positives and negatives for school districts around the state. Although opinions have been formed, it is still a requirement by the state to take the test. The Hawthorne District was prepared for PARCC, and we wish every student the best of luck as the scores for this testing come rolling in!