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New Jersey Parents, Teachers Criticize State Testing

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New Jersey parents and teachers unleashed a litany of reasons why the state's assessment system should be abandoned during a State Board of Education meeting this week.

The Asbury Park Press reports that the majority of parents, teachers, students, and citizens who spoke during the Jan. 7 meeting in Trenton were critical of the new assessment system—a familiar scene that's being played out in states across the nation. New Jersey schools are set to administer the common-core-aligned assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, to students this year.

Parent Gayle Heinrich told the board that it was unfair that her son, a high school sophomore with special education needs, will be judged on a single test score. Meanwhile, according to the story, math teacher Joshua Eckersley testified that teachers' stress levels are "through the roof," since PARCC results will be included in teacher evaluations.

But, according to the story, Debbie Tyrrell, president of the New Jersey PTA, called the test a "critical, early-intervention tool" that represents an "opportunity to better support my child." (Tyrell was apparently one of the few who spoke in favor of PARCC.)

State Board of Education member Edith Fulton told the newspaper that the public testimony would be submitted to state Education Commissioner. 

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