New Jersey Postpones PARCC Exam After Technical Problems

By Daarel Burnette II — April 21, 2016 1 min read
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Add New Jersey to the growing list of states struggling to transition their state’s standardized tests online.

Thousands of students couldn’t log on to the state’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test yesterday, focing the state department to postpone the administering of the test, according to The Record, a New Jersey newspaper.

David Hespe, the state’s education commissioner, said the problems were “totally unacceptable. We are committed to making sure such disruptions do not happen again.”

New Jersey officials have fought hard to remain part of the PARCC consortium, which several other states have pulled out of because of the test’s association with Common Core State Standards.

But many in the Garden State are expecting this week’s glitches to hamper that effort.

Pearson, who administers the state’s PARCC exam, said the glitch was due to human error and that they are doing all they can to get the tests back up online.

I wrote last month about how testing glitches are impacting assessment legislation this year. The glitches, coupled with the opt-out movement has resulted in a political backlash against statewide assessments tied to high stakes.

As I point out in my legislative roundup story this week, close to 600 bills have been proposed this year that would alter the impact state assessments have on teachers and students.

Earlier this month, Alaska totally scrapped the state’s administration of its standardized testing after a backhoe in Kansas severed a fiber optic cable, an accident that shut down online testing in at least 15 states.

Photo: Pasi Jouhikainen, Senior Systems Engineer, works in the Command Center at Pearson in Iowa City, Iowa on Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2016. --Stephen Mally for Education Week

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.