By Jaclyn Scotto Siano
As you have probably already heard, the New Jersey assessments have been changed for the 2019 testing window. Let’s take a quick look at these few important changes!
So, the first major difference in the New Jersey assessment world is the change in name of the test. What was once known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is now the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment (NJSLA). In regards to content, the new test still covers the same skills so there is nothing new that needs to be taught.
For all grades, the test has been shortened (hooray for our students)! On the grades 3 through 5 tests, the NJSLA now consists of three 60-minute units instead of the four 60-minute units the students took in 2018.
For grades 6 through 8, there are still three units. However, the unit times have been shortened. As opposed to the 80-minute testing windows we saw in the past, the 2019 test consists of three 60-minute windows.
At the high school level, students will only be taking two 90-minute testing units. In 2018, they took three 90-minute tests.
Once again, for all grade levels, the students will spend less time in front of the computer for the ELA sections. For all grade levels, students will be taking two units in 2019 (as opposed to the three units they took in 2018). Instead of completing a Literary Analysis Task (LAT), Research Simulation Task (RST), AND Narrative Writing Task (NWT), students will be doing only two. Depending on the blueprint the student receives on test day, the test will consist of one of the following combinations:
- a LAT and an RST
- an NWT and an RST
So, regardless of the test versions they receive, all student will be doing an RST.
In regards to time, grade 3 will be sitting for two 75-minute units, and all other grades will take two 90-minute units.
So, there are a few major takeaways in regards to the changes in New Jersey’s state assessments. First, the name has been changed from PARCC to NJSLA. Secondly, there has been a reduction in number of units and total time spent testing for all grade levels and in both subjects. If you want more information, try New Jersey’s assessment web page.