Assembly Education Committee Vice Chair Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) released the following statement Thursday after the committee discussed several bills that would limit testing for younger students and allow New Jersey parents to exempt their children from taking the new standardized test commonly referred to as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers):
“Study after study has demonstrated the need to challenge our children and better prepare them to succeed at college and in the workplace. Higher standards for our children are appropriate but at some point along the path towards this goal, higher standards seem to mean more and more testing. Higher standards cannot come at the expense of classroom instruction but somehow it seems that this is happening in many of our communities.
“I support higher standards for our children and I support higher standards and accountability for our teachers, but I do not support subjecting our children to over testing. Over testing is a legitimate frustration and fear of parents. It takes away from teachers ability to develop our children into life-long learners by compromising classroom instruction, and frankly isn’t necessary. We can integrate the higher standards embodied in the Common Core and the accountability envisioned in TEACH NJ without a battery of state and local tests.
“There is just no need for kids to be subject to multiple assessment and diagnostic tests and all the lost instruction time that comes with them. There needs to be a single, once-a-year test or a limit to the number of testing hours that school children take. This needs to be our focus,” said Singleton.