As N.J. Governor, Legislature & Teachers Union Wrangle Over PARCC, the Fate of 170,000 High School Seniors Hangs in the Balance

Check out my new column in The 74. It starts here:

Phil Murphy won his New Jersey governorship in 2017 by promising progressive action on items as varied as a $15 minimum wage, raising taxes on millionaires, increasing gun control, and fully funding schools and teacher pensions. Another of those promises, as he vowed during his keynote at the 2016 New Jersey Education Association convention, was to “scrap PARCC day one.”

Now this anti-Chris Christie is in a bind, because while he has successfully, if incompletely, fulfilled some of those promises, other remain out of reach. And the story behind his promise to eliminate PARCC testing — which, for the first time in the state, accurately evaluates student readiness for college and/or careers and neatly aligns with the “gold standard” assessment called NAEP — offers a window into what may make him a one-term governor.

Blame it on the New Jersey Education Association. Or, more precisely, blame it on Murphy’s sycophantic appeals to the union leaders’ good graces, the power they yield over his agenda (his deputy chief of staff is the union’s former associate director of government relations), and their animosity toward state Senate President Steve Sweeney, whom Tom Moran, editor of the Star-Ledger, recently dubbed “Gov. Sweeney.” (Sweeney was actually a gubernatorial contender until Murphy bought out the county bosses. There’s a reason New Jersey is called the “Soprano State” — and it has little to do with real housewivesJwoww, or Snooki.)

Read the rest here.

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