Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a correction. The February 25 version of “Howell Board Discusses Fate Of PARCC Exam” contained an incorrect description of the legislation relating to buses. The legislation would allow school buses to have cameras that record traffic violations, such as when nearby drivers drive through the bus’ stop sign. The Howell Times regrets the error and any inconvenience it may have caused.
HOWELL – Concerns over the PARCC exam’s status after a state Assembly committee vote became a subject of discussion during a recent Howell school board meeting.
Superintendent Joseph Isola used the February 15 meeting to stress the importance of parental awareness when it comes to standardized tests such as the PARCC exam, which stands for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
His concern comes from a growing number of students who take high school courses such as Geometry and Algebra 1 as seventh and eighth graders.
If those students refuse to take the PARCC exam for those subjects at that time, they will not meet the requirements needed to graduate from high school, he said.
The PARCC exam was created several years ago to catch up with more rigorous academic standards adopted by teachers, such as Common Core. Only 11 states currently participate in PARCC assessments and there has been an ongoing resistance to the test in New Jersey, as many parents and educators feel it is unfair and goes well beyond a basic skills test.
In opposition to the exam, parent groups have sprung up on Facebook, often campaigning for changes to the system that adopted the exam for New Jersey students.
On February 13 the state’s Assembly Education Committee voted almost unanimously on a resolution to overturn the PARCC requirement. The resolution still needs to pass both houses.
The school board is also waiting for legislation to be approved that would allow school buses to start using a new camera system. The new system is an enhancement to existing video technology already used on school buses. The legislation would allow school buses to have cameras that record traffic violations, such as when nearby drivers drive through the bus’ stop sign.
In other news, the school board discussed the incidents of crime and intimidation in its schools.
Incidents of school violence have gone down significantly, with the Semi-Annual Violence, Vandalism and Harassment/Intimidation and Bullying Report citing four incidents of violence compared with 13 in the same timeframe last year.
Officials said an increase in training this year may have contributed to the decline.