Princeton High School Student Explains Why He Opted Out of PARCC Last Year

CentralJersey examines Princeton High School’s high rate of PARCC refusals (last year 800 out of 1,164 high school students refused the tests) as well as school officials’ plans for this Spring’s assessments. Last year the standardized tests were scheduled at the same time as many A.P. courses. Also, the district said that it lacked “sufficient technology” for all the students to take tests at the same time, a problem that it has corrected. Nick Pibl, a Princeton High School senior and student representative to the Princeton Board of Education, told the Board on Tuesday,

“The scheduling was a big thing for me,” he said. “I was the only kid in my entire math class that was missing that day, so my teacher continued on and I had to catch up. If we did have that option, though, to move the schedule around, especially if it’s only within one week rather than three, it would definitely make for a more ideal situation where I personally believe more students would end up taking the test and not opt out of it.”

Princeton, of course, is the birthplace of Save Our Schools-NJ, an ally of NJEA and Education Law Center. All three groups have lobbied heavily against PARCC assessments, in large part because state regulations currently mandate that 10% of student outcomes on standardized tests are tied to teacher evaluations. Last year, the first year of the law’s implementation, 97% of N.J. teachers were rated either “effective” or “highly effective.”

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