NJ lawmakers hold hearing about future of PARCC test

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TRENTON -

State lawmakers held a joint hearing Monday on the future of the state’s PARCC tests.

Parents who attended the hearing called on legislatures to allow the New Jersey Board of Education to vote on reducing the number of high school tests, which they say is higher than federal standards.

“This state chose six tests in high school. This is an abomination,” said parent Liz Mulholland.

The state Board of Education was set to vote on proposed changes that would've reduced the number of tests from six to two. The chances would offer students who don't pass the state assessments extra support and additional retakes.

RELATED: New Jersey plans to phase out PARCC test for students

But state Senate education chair Sen. Theresa Ruiz wanted to hold the joint hearing before it happened.

“Now I’m asking that we also obtain empirical data that says why we would eliminate these sections of the test to support the reasoning. And you don’t have to provide that today but as we continue it’s something I look forward to,” Ruiz said.

New Jersey Education Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet said that he came to the phase-out of PARCC after traveling around the state and speaking with teachers, parents and students who do not have career goals just yet.

“Socially, emotionally unprepared and they also don’t have a clue of even exactly what field they want to go to,” Repollet said.

The Department of Education's proposed changes to PARCC would also reduce the amount of time students spend taking the tests by 25-percent, and reduce the weight of the test results on teacher evaluations. 

Sen. Ruiz told the commissioner she hopes to hold another hearing on the issue at a later date.

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