|4-22-16 Education in the News|
Star Ledger--N.J. PARCC joins growing list of exams plagued by tech glitches
When New Jersey scrapped its old standardized tests in favor of the new PARCC exam given on computer, education officials said the online tests would be less costly and easier to score than the old paper-and-pencil exams.
But Wednesday, state education officials experienced the downside of online testing when a computer glitch left students across the state staring at blank screens.
New Jersey was forced to postpone testing in grades 3 through 11 for the day as its testing vendor scrambled to figure out what went wrong with PARCC, short for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
As New Jersey school children sit this month for the new PARCC exams, there are still big questions about how much the controversial tests will eventually cost.
State Education Commissioner David Hespe called the technical error "totally unacceptable" and blamed Pearson, the company that oversees the testing.
Pearson officials apologized and said the glitch was caused by human error after the company's workers tried to make upgrades to the computer system the night before the New Jersey test.
Critics of PARCC and other standardized testing say New Jersey is the latest in a growing list of states forced to postpone or abandon tests due to computer errors.
Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| on April 21, 2016 at 9:11 AM, updated April 21, 2016 at 9:12 AM
The Record—Op-Ed: PARCC and wait
If those opposed to PARCC testing were looking for one more reason to persuade state education officials to abandon the controversial statewide exams, they had one handed to them on Wednesday when a computer glitch shut down the PARCC testing systems at many schools across New Jersey.
Though apparently all systems were go on Thursday and full testing was resumed, Wednesday’s disruption was another setback for a testing protocol that’s been mired in controversy since the day it was introduced. The PARCC tests in math and English language arts being administered to New Jersey students in Grades 3 to 11 during April and May are supposed to be more difficult, and a better indicator for student readiness for college or careers.
Yet if students can’t access the tests they have been prepared to take, the question of effectiveness goes out the window.
April 22, 2016 Last updated: Friday, April 22, 2016, 1:20 AM
Education Week--ESSA Cheat Sheet: What's in the New Testing Regulations?
School districts, state chiefs, advocates, and the U.S. Department of Education now have a better idea of how testing will work under the brand-new Every Student Succeeds Act. And it only took eight days of eye-glazing-and-occasionally-contentious debate, known inside the Beltway as "negotiated rulemaking."
A committee of educators, advocates, and experts charged with hashing out rules for ESSA wasn't able to reach agreement on something called supplement-not-supplant (a wonky spending provision), but they did come to accord on a number of important testing issues, including for English-language learners, and students in special education.
Here are the highlights of what they agreed to, in plain English:
By Alyson Klein on April 21, 2016 9:43 AM
Garden State Coalition of Schools