NJ Department of Education Files Motion for Partial Reconsideration in High School Assessment Case

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On Friday, January 11, the Department of Education filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration in response to the Superior Court, Appellate Division decision concerning New Jersey’s high school graduation assessment requirements, In Re N.J.A.C. 6A:8, Standards and Assessment. The December 31, 2018 decision found that certain regulations in the current Standards and Assessment code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(a)(6), 5.1(f) and 5.1(g) are contrary to legislative statutory intent. State statute, N.J.S.A. 18A:7C-7 provides for a statewide graduation examination to be administered in the eleventh grade. The Superior Court struck down these specific regulations, but provided a 30-day stay of its judgment to permit the NJDOE to seek further review and to avoid disruption in any ongoing statewide administration of proficiency examinations.

Today, the Department filed a motion in an effort to clarify the impact of the ruling on the high school graduating classes of 2019 and 2020.  In its Motion for Partial Reconsideration, the Department of Education seeks relief for all students in the Classes of 2019 or 2020 who met the applicable Graduation Assessment requirements in place as of December 30, 2018.  

As the Court considers this motion, the NJDOE and Attorney General’s Office continue to analyze the matter to review options and next steps.      

What does this mean for you as a school leader?

For now, it means that districts and schools should continue with their assessment program as scheduled and as indicated by Commissioner Lamont Repollet in his January 2 Special Broadcast to the field:

“Our primary goal is to minimize disruptions to schools and districts. I also want to reinforce that our decision-making will be determined by what is best for the students of New Jersey. Districts and schools should continue with their assessment program as planned, until notified otherwise.”

For more information, see the Department’s Update on the Administration of Fall 2018/Spring 2019 State Assessments and the Department’s Office of Assessments webpage.

NJPSA will keep you advised of any future developments on this critical issue.