Lafayette moves forward with PARCC testing


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Starting spring of next year, New Jersey students in grades 3 through 11, who take math and English/Language Arts classes will be given the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test.

The PARCC test, which is tied to Common Core state standards hopes to build a pathway to college and career preparation by the end of high school.

“We are well on our way (with our PARCC field testing)," Lafayette superintendent Dave Astor said. "We are working on the sixth grade end-of-year online practice test and are prepared as we can be."

In preparation for 2015, New Jersey schools are spending hours preparing teachers, parents, and students for field testing. The practice test, a crucial part of the process, will determine what works and what doesn’t. Don’t expect a full, detailed score of a student’s performance from the field test, but, rather, a look at design flaws. Will school’s bandwidth support a large amount of computer-based tests at once? Will students be able to use all forms of technology to access the test? These questions are slowly being answered as field tests are being given.

Although Lafayette has yet to come across any glitches in the computer system, Astor did mention reports of other schools experiencing server issues.

“Luckily, we did not go with Google Chromebooks," he said. "I know there has been server issues (in other schools) with it crashing after an overwhelming amount of students were taking it at once, but we are good. We only have 16 students taking it."

There have been server issues but it also appears PARCC testing on iPads and Chromebooks is not supported. This, comes at a cost to many schools that heavily invested heavily in the purchase of iPads and Chromebooks and are unable to use them.

In 2010, the New Jersey Department of Education joined PARCC, among 16 other U.S. states, and became a governing state in the spring of 2011. More than 1,200 schools across New Jersey are taking part.

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