New Jersey has been committed to standards-based assessments for over thirty years. In 1975, the New Jersey Legislature passed the Public School Education Act (PSEA) "to provide to all children of New Jersey, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location, the educational opportunity which will prepare them to function politically, economically and socially in a democratic society." One year later, the PSEA was amended to establish uniform standards of minimum achievement in basic communication and computational skills which provided the legal basis for the use of a test as a graduation requirement.
Since 1975, there have been several revisions to the state's assessments. In May 1996, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) which defined what all New Jersey students should know and be able to do upon completion of a New Jersey public school education. The CCCS, which are revised every five years, have been the basis for assessing the academic achievement of students. In response to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), New Jersey developed another new assessment system to test students in grades 3-8 and grade 11.
In 2010, the adoption of the Core Standards by the State Board of Education necessitated the development of a new generation of assessments that measure the increased skill requirements in math and English language arts. The new Partnership for Assessments of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments are online tests that were first administered in the spring of 2015.
There have also been changes to the adult education testing program. The New Jersey Department of Education has examined developments in the field of adult education in an effort to expand the assessment options available for a state-issued high school equivalency diploma.