Final vote possible in December or January

The New Jersey State Board of Education voted on Oct. 3 to move regulatory changes forward that continue the transition away from PARCC assessments by reducing the number of tests administered at the high school level and ensuring multiple pathways to meeting graduations requirements. The proposed regulations also protect the rights of students with individualized education plans (IEPs) or 504 plans and students who are English language learners (ELLs).

The proposal, if finally adopted in its current form, would shorten the length of time between when boards of education receive test results from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and when those results are available to students, parents and teachers.

Voting 11-2, the board moved the regulatory proposal forward, including the following provisions:

• Reducing the required number of high school PARCC tests from six to four.

• Allowing students who do not demonstrate proficiency on the Algebra 1 and/or ELA 10 assessments to retake them or access a menu of alternative assessment options.

• Allowing English language learner students in their first year in the United States to substitute an ELA PARCC assessment with a language proficiency test.

• Clarifying that a student’s IEP or 504 plan establishes the individualized accommodations, instructional adaptations, and/or modifications that must be provided on the PARCC.

Ensuring that local boards of education provide student state assessment results to teachers, parents and students within 30 days of receiving them from the NJDOE.

The board approved several amendments to the proposal, some of which are reflected in the list above. NJEA is currently analyzing the impact of these amendments.

“The overall proposal is an important step in the right direction” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “We look forward to working with the Department of Education, with the State Board, and with all other stakeholders, as we prioritize the needs of students for a successful transition from high school to college, a career, and participation in civic life.”

The regulatory changes as proposed will now be printed in the NJ Register followed by 30 to 60 days of public comments before the State Board may vote to adopt the new regulations.

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