New Jersey will move away from PARCC testing, but the transition could take years

Dustin Racioppi and Hannan Adely, NorthJersey

New Jersey will begin moving away from the controversial PARCC exams and move toward a “new generation” of statewide testing, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

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Robert Barbier, a high school English teacher in Garfield, said he believes the proposed changes in testing would have a big impact in the classroom.

Schools, he said, had “wasted a tremendous amount of time” preparing students for the test and administering the test. The changes will also come as a relief for many students who struggled with the exams, he said.

“I can’t express the difficulties I saw with students who are learning disabled or who were English language learners. It created a tremendous amount of frustration,” said Barbier, who is executive vice president for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 for the American Federation of Teachers of New Jersey.

He hoped the change would lead to more free time for creative assignments — something he said had been diminished because of the focus on testing.

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