New Jersey State Assessments
New Jersey has administered statewide assessments since the 1970s, and over the years, the testing program has evolved. It began as a measure of basic skills, and after 1996, it has assessed the state's academic standards. In 2001, under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, every state was required to test students in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) in grades 3 to 8 and grade 11. That mandate is still in effect under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
In 2010, New Jersey adopted new, high-quality standards which changed the expectations in ELA and mathematics to emphasize higher-order thinking skills and not just memorizing information. In May 2016, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted revisions to the mathematics and ELA standards and renamed all areas of the state's academic standards the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.
In the 2014-15 school year, New Jersey transitioned from its former assessments to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in mathematics and English language arts. The PARCC assessments more accurately measure the higher-level skills developed under the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and provide parents and educators with meaningful information to improve teaching and learning.
Starting in 2015, districts began to distribute annual PARCC student score reports to parents. There are resources on this assessment site to assist with interpreting individual score reports that can give parents a common language to use in discussions with teachers about their child's progress.
The adoption of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science (NJSLS-S) in July 2014 initiated an overhaul of science education in New Jersey and the replacement of the former statewide science assessments – The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge Science (NJASK), the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT), and the Alternate Proficiency Assessment (APA) – with an assessment aligned to the state standards.
Starting in 2018, the New Jersey Department of Education requires that all science assessments be field tested in grades 5, 8, and 11. The spring 2018 administration of high school science assessments, both the New Jersey Student Learning Assessment Science (NJSLA-S) and the Dynamic Learning Map (DLM) in science will be administered. In the spring of 2019 these science assessments will again be administered and results of testing will begin the baseline year results.