Christie Signs Two Bills Related to High Stakes Testing

new-jersey-state-flagNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed two bills that are related to PARCC/high stakes assessments in his state that passed the New Jersey Legislature this past session.

The first is A4485 which prohibits the Commissioner of Education from withholding State school aid from a school district based on the participation rate of its students on the State assessments.  This bill would prevent districts from being penalized for matters beyond their control.

The second, S2766/A3079: “As amended, this bill provides that a school district may not administer a commercially-developed standardized assessment to students enrolled in kindergarten through the second grade. However under the bill’s provisions, a commercially-developed standardized assessment will not include diagnostic and formative assessments used by teaching staff members to identify particular student learning needs or the need for special services, or to modify instructional strategies for an individual student’s learning. The bill also provides that its provisions would not preclude a classroom teacher or a board of education from developing, administering, and scoring an assessment for students in those grades.”

In a nutshell that bill prevents the administration of a standardized assessment given to all students.

Carolee Adams, president of Eagle Forum of New Jersey, released the following statement:

The signing of these two bills by Governor Christie represents common sense and, undoubtedly, a wise political response to the following:

1. The results of our State Assembly race, where Republicans lost seats and now possess the lowest number since 1979 (28 R’s/52 D’s); 

2. The Governor’s recognition that these are common sense responses that could help bolster his sagging presidential campaign and appeal to popular opinion about a hot button national issue. Huge numbers of parents in New Jersey and across the nation have refused high stakes assessments for their children; and, 

3. The unrelenting, unified, strong, and very diverse opposition in New Jersey to Common Core/PARCC in the past, and which will continue unabated in the future.  

With the Governor’s signing of these two bills, we are coming closer and closer to the end zone and ultimate defeat of Common Core/PARCC in New Jersey. If Pearson Education had not received an $82.5 million economic tax credit from taxpayers to remain in New Jersey, as well as a 4-year $108 million contract to implement PARCC, I believe this game would have already ended.  

Thank you to the countless hundreds of parents and others who selflessly sacrificed to testify and lobby in behalf of these bills and other matters relating to the topic.

And, thank you Governor Christie. We encourage you to join our winning team, and work with us to fully defeat Common Core/PARCC in New Jersey.