NJPSA ELL Committee Chair Testifies Before State Board on PARCC Issues Associated with English Language Learners

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Maria Romero, Chair of the Supervisors of English Language Learners (ELL) Committee testified before the State Board of Education March 5.  

Ms. Romero’s Testimony

Ms Romero provided insight into how the PARCC assessment, and in particular, the PARCC limitations on the translation of the tests into the foreign languages spoken by our students will adversely impact students and staff.   Her argument – that many students whose proficiency in English is lower than full proficiency will not be able to attain test goals – not because of their lack of subject matter knowledge but because of a child’s lack of English proficiency.

She also expressed concern with overlapping testing windows as New Jersey ELL students will be required to take not only the PARCC exam in addition to ACCESS for ELLs from the WIDA Consortium.

Open Topic @ State Board

The "Open Topic" public testimony session brought out over 75 teachers, parents and even union officials, many focused on PARCC implementation as well as teacher evaluation – many seeking a slow down to the implementation process of the new evaluation system.  Several parent advocates also raised concerns about the "pervasiveness of testing," – with some indicating that they planned to "opt" their children out of State testing this coming year.  The State Board took several hourse of testimony in two rooms to accomodate the speakers.