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.