March 24, 2020
All standardized testing scheduled for this spring in New Jersey has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak which has closed school across the state, Gov. Phil Murphy said on Tuesday.
Murphy said during his daily briefing on the state's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that, after consulting with the state department of education and attorney general, New Jersey has applied for the federal waiver to cancel the computerized exams that were scheduled to begin on April 20. He believes the waiver will be approved, he said.
"With students at home, and not in their regular classrooms, it is simply not feasible for us to be able to move forward with testing in any meaningful way," Murphy said.
The New Jersey Student Learning Assessment, which used to be known as the PARCC, is a test taken by students from third grade through high school each spring to examine their proficiency in English and math.
The exam is used to measure student achievement in the classroom and meet both state and federal education standards. It also determines and impacts state and federal aid to school districts.
High school seniors are required to pass the test in order to graduate, but Murphy said that canceling the exams will not prevent seniors from receiving their diplomas this year.
Pennsylvania officials announced last week their plan to cancel the PSSA and Keystone standardized exams due to the classroom time students were missing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New Jersey's decision to cancel all standardized testing this spring comes just a week after all schools were ordered to close until further notice.
During his daily update on Monday, Murphy hinted at the possibility of New Jersey being closed for a very long time.
"The reality is that schools will overwhelmingly likely remain closed for a long and extended period of time," Murphy said. "And we must ensure that every student is taken care of."
New Jersey has 3,675 positive cases of COVID-19, the second-most of any state, and 44 deaths due to the virus as of Tuesday afternoon.
Of those cases, 124 are South Jersey. Camden County has 51 cases, Burlington County has 42 cases, Gloucester County has 19 cases, Atlantic County has six cases, Cape May County has three cases, Cumberland County has two cases, and Salem County has one case.