NECAP to be replaced by PARCC Test

Dee DeQuattro

After weeks of controversy about the NECAP standardized test
being a graduation requirement in the state of Rhode Island, it seems the test
is on its way out.

In the 2014-2015 school year the NECAP test will be replaced
by a new test known as PARCC.

“This is part of the transition to the common course state
standards that have been adopted by 46 states,” said Elliot Krieger,
Spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Education.

As part of the common course state standards 22 states
including Massachusetts and New York, have opted to test their students using
the PARCC examination, the other 24 states will us the “smarter balanced” test.

The new test will be administered solely through laptop or
tablet and students will still be required to take the test and show
improvement in order to graduate. The controversy facing the current NECAP is
that students are required to improve their test scores in order to graduate. Members
of the Providence Student Union also complained that teachers are being encouraged
to “teach to the test.”

The current NECAP test is only administered by 4 states;
Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. There is currently no other
standardized test administrated by more than one state.

The current standards on which the NECAP was based upon were
established a decade ago in 2003. The test was initially used in 2005 but Krieger
noted that, as with any test, as time goes by and standards change, tests need
to change as well.

On Tuesday, the Providence Student Union released results
after having adults take the math portion of the NECAP test revealing that 60%
scored below proficient.