New Jersey Department of Education

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Parent & Family Portal

Student Performance Expectations

Photo of children in a classroom

Why does the state test students?

Starting with the federal No Child Left Behind Act  NCLB) and now a requirement of the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA)that replaced NCLB, all states must test students in math and English language arts in grades 3-8 and high school. A testing program provides information for several purposes.

First, the test results indicate whether your child is progressing in learning the state's standards so that if he or she needs extra support, you and the school can provide it.

Second, the results for all students in the school indicate whether the school's curriculum and teaching performance are helping all students meet expectations set by the standards. The district can use the results to address any program weaknesses and help teachers improve classroom instruction.

Third, parents/community members can check their schools' performance reports which offer many measures of the school's performance including the most recent test results. Community members can use the information in the reports to start conversations with the school about ways to address the areas in need of improvement.

Finally, New Jersey has had a state testing program since the 1970s. The following links to the state's testing program provide additional information about the entire testing program which has tests other than PARCC. 

The following are some useful resources to help parents be more engaged in their child's education