Legislators Call On Senate Leadership To Post PARCC Resolution

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State Sen. Nia Gill and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride joined about a dozen education advocates May 3 to call on Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Sen. Teresa Ruiz to post a resolution declaring that using PARCC as a high school exit exam is inconsistent with statutory intent.

Sweeney and Ruiz recently sent a letter to education officials requesting the state Board of Education to revise its graduation testing requirements.  Yesterday’s speakers are asking for more than a request for action however AND they believe the resolution is the only way to achieve their goal. 

If both houses of the Legislature pass resolutions stating that using the controversial state assessment as a graduation exam is inconsistent with legislative intent, it would compel the education board to take action. If it fails to comply, the Senate and Assembly could pass another resolution to invalidate PARCC as an exit exam without needing Gov. Chris Christie to sign off on it. 

The Assembly overwhelmingly passed its version of the resolution (ACR-215) back in March. An identical resolution (SCR-132) was introduced by Gill in November, but hasn’t received a hearing in the Senate Education Committee — which Ruiz chairs — nor has Sweeney agreed to put it up for a vote before the full Senate.

Gill said during Wednesday’s news conference — held outside the Department of Education building in Trenton as the Board of Education was meeting inside — that she’s asked Ruiz to allow the resolution to be heard at the next Senate Education Committee meeting.