As I sit on the train heading back home to Paterson from Trenton I feel the need to express my discontent with the NJDOE’s proposal of making passing PARCC a graduation requirement.
It bothers me because the same folks who want to impose an unproven test on our students is the exact same people who have been illegally underfunding our school district for 7 years straight.
We will soon be faced with a budget deficit upwards of $180 MILLION dollars due to the consistent illegal underfunding of Paterson Public Schools by the NJDOE.
Now, how will that impact the proper administration and maintenance of PARCC testing?
I’ll tell you how. Without proper funding the district won’t be able to hire qualified people who are experienced in the area of the PARCC nor will they be able to maintain or make necessary upgrades to the software, equipment or technology needed to adequately administer the PARCC. Nor will they have people in place to work on a curriculum which aligns with the PARCC.
Central office is almost empty as it is. Teachers, librarians, support staff, and office staff are being laid off at record numbers. As the illegal underfunding continues, so will the layoffs which will directly impact testing. There is no way testing can be properly monitored without enough well trained and qualified people to monitor it. And PPS won’t be able to hire qualified people at salaries which fall far below their credentialed pay scales.
I could go on, but I’ll conclude with this. How can we be legally forced to pass a test without the fundamental tools necessary to even maintain it? That is just like asking us to build a house without a foundation, it’ll soon collapse.
Corey Teague is a former Paterson School Board Member.