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Lampitt Bill to Give High School Students Path to Graduation after PARCC Ruling Clears Assembly Panel

To ensure current high school juniors and seniors are able to graduate in the wake of a recent Superior Court ruling striking down the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to provide students a clear path to graduation was approved Thursday by the Assembly Education Committee.

“When the court struck down the PARCC math and language arts tests as end-of-course exams for graduation, nearly 170,000 high school seniors and juniors who had already taken the tests were left wondering if they would still meet the requirements to graduate,” said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). “This bill will take those students out of limbo and set them on a course to graduate.”

The bill (A-4957) would provide students in the classes of 2019 and 2020 who met the graduation assessment requirements set by the State Board of Education regulations that were in place as of Dec. 30, 2018 (one day before the Superior Court ruling) to be allowed to graduate.

The measure amends current law concerning the state’s graduation proficiency test to provide for the development or designation of a statewide assessment or assessments in reading, writing, and computational skills. Previously, the law allowed for one assessment. The bill also eliminates the requirement that the assessment be administered specifically in 11th grade.

“Students work hard every day in school with the goal of earning their diploma and moving on to pursue their personal and professional goals,” said Lampitt. “By establishing clear guidelines for graduation, we help our students take that important step forward.”

Additionally, the state would be required to administer an assessment or assessments designed to test high school proficiency and evaluate college and career readiness. Any student who initially does not demonstrate proficiency would be given an opportunity to retest. A student who has not met all graduation standards but met all credit, curriculum and attendance requirements would be required to take the graduation assessment or assessments in order to be eligible for a comprehensive assessment of proficiencies utilizing techniques other than standardized tests.

The bill now heads to the full Assembly for further consideration.