Dear Gov. Murphy/Comm. Repollet/NJEA: Look at This School and Tell Us Again Why You Want to Water Down High School Testing.

Last week I wrote about the dilemma facing the New Jersey State Board of Education: To accept a low-ball standardized testing proposal from accountability-averse Commissioner Lamont Repollet (ELA 10, Algebra 1, and Geometry, all taken in 11th grade) or gamble on the Legislature passing a bill that would permit the state to test high school students when they finish a course. (See here for more background.) In a 12-1 vote the Board played it safe …

NJ’s Standardized Test Mess Is a Solution in Search of a Problem: We Raise NJ Is Happy to Help.

We Raise New Jersey just issued a statement about a critical decision facing the State Board of Education: Does the Board defer to Gov. Murphy and Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet’s deal with NJEA to create a statewide 64 Floor by eliminating meaningful assessments for high school students? Or should the Board press the State Legislature (not sure how this works, but somehow it does) to pass Assembly Bill 4957 which “eliminate[s] requirements that graduation proficiency …

If Murphy and Repollet Were Really “Progressive,” They’d Care About the Prospects of Students in Districts Like Newark.

Two weeks ago New Jersey’s NAEP scores came out and they weren’t pretty. These national tests, often referred to as the “gold standard” and “The Nation’s Report Card,” showed that our fourth-graders’ reading proficiency dropped more than any other state in the country, that eighth-graders saw significant declines as well, and that we’ve made no progress in closing achievement gaps. At about the same time as the NAEP score release, Chalkbeat reported that Education Law …

How Do Low Expectations Work For Asbury Park’s Special Needs Kids? Legislators and State Board Members Pay Heed.

On Tuesday I commented on the New Jersey Department of Education’s proposal to the State Board of Education to lower standards for high school graduation. Instead of focusing on what NJ parents really need — clear information about school quality and student progress towards independent adulthood (70% of NJ community college students have to take remedial courses on content they should have mastered in high school)  — the DOE, with the backing of Gov. Murphy/NJEA …

State Board of Education Caves to Murphy and Repollet’s Regressive Demands: Can the Assembly Save Our Kids?

Yesterday the State Board of Education (with the exception of bold Vice President Andy Mulvihill) folded to pressure and voted 12-1 to eliminate the 10th grade standardized assessments that offer guidance to families, teachers, and schools on students’ academic strengths and weaknesses. Think of this as a domino effect: NJEA leaders own Governor Murphy, who accepted an early endorsement in exchange for a promise to eliminate PARCC “Day 1.” Murphy owns Lamont Repollet (who, to …

The NJ DOE Is Desperate to Lower Standards. Here is Why This Approach Will Make State Tests More Stressful For Students.

This is an guest post by Patricia Morgan, Executive Director of JerseyCAN and Shelley Skinner, Executive Director of Better Education for Kids. It first appeared in NJ Spotlight. If we can all agree that the goal of student assessments should be to maximize the value and timeliness of the data received and minimize the amount of stress we put on students, then the latest proposal from Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet and the state Department of …

Murphy Manages To Deliver What Nobody Wants.

Governor Phil Murphy loves to talk about how he’s moving New Jersey forward but in the world of K-12 education he’s intent on moving us back ten years. Remember the days of the High School Proficiency Assessments (HSPA), those basic skills tests that former Education Commissioner Lucille Davy, who served under Jon Corzine, deemed “8th grade level”? The assessments so easy to pass that our graduation rate was sky-high and first-year college students, deceived by …

With New Student Test Results Released, Repollet Tries to Turn New Jersey Public Schools into One Big Asbury Park.

Yesterday Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet presented the State Board of Education with last Spring’s standardized test scores. NJ Spotlight describes the results as “leveling off of gains under the old PARCC tests, with only about half the students passing the math and language-arts exams.” The Star-Ledger concluded, “many New Jersey students are still struggling to make the grade, and statewide gains in test scores are starting to level off.”  In our fifth year of testing …

What Does Your New VP of the New Jersey State Board of Education Think About Testing and Accountability? Let Him Tell You Himself.

Last week Andrew Mulvihill was elected Vice President of the New Jersey State Board of Education, with Kathy Goldenberg as President. He shared with me his remarks upon his election, prefacing them by noting that he is “looking forward to a fresh, new approach to how the board operates. With what limited power we do have I plan on pursuing an agenda that focuses on standards and accountability because that’s what’s best for New Jersey …

Who Needs Algebra II? A New Report Reveals Disconnect Between Test-Haters and What New Jersey Students Need To Live Here.

Less than two weeks ago a local paper reported that Trenton public schools students feel unsafe and uneducated.  At about the same time an appellate court ruled that the New Jersey Department of Education’s regulations governing PARCC assessments “are in violation of laws passed by the Legislature,” setting those Trenton students up for even lower standards for academic growth. (Here’s my post on that.) Now, in another flash of happenstance, Konrad Mugglestone and Michael Dannenberg have published …