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PARCC exams thrown out as graduation requirement in NJ over the holiday

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JERSEY CITY — It affects more than a million local families, but a significant change in the use of PARCC exams in the Garden State is expected to take many parents and students by surprise when classes resume on Wednesday.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, exams in 10th grade English Language Arts and Algebra I have been required for graduation from high school by the New Jersey Department of Education.

In a ruling by an appellate court on Monday, a panel of three judges threw out that requirement, on grounds that it was in violation of state requirements.

“It's good for me,” said Alyssa Hennessey, a high school senior in Jersey City. "I'm terrible at those tests.”

The appellate panel also ruled that one 11th grade test is in compliance with New Jersey state graduation requirements.

The ruling was the result of a lawsuit brought by the Education Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union Of New Jersey on behalf of the Latino Coalition of New Jersey, the Latino Action Network, the NAACP New Jersey State Conference, and the Paterson Education Fund.

The PARCC tests on which the panel ruled will still be administered in schools. Passing them will no longer be considered the main requirements for high school graduation.

The ruling provides for a 30-day period in which the state attorney general’s office, which represents the state’s department of education, may appeal.

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