NJPSA Welcomes Transitional Changes to State Assessments and Graduation Requirements

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NJPSA is pleased to announce that the State Board of Education, in strong collaboration with NJDOE, state legislators, and many educational organizations, voted today to modify our current requirements for state assessment at the high school level. These changes will be published in the New Jersey State Register for public comment. If finally adopted, they will be effective from 2019 through 2025.


We are also pleased that the State Board was responsive to our testimony, and that of our members, as we transition to the development of a fair, rigorous, meaningful assessment system that will drive continuous improvement of teaching and learning.


Specifically, the adopted code provides:


  1. High school students will be required to take four state assessments instead of six: ELA 9 and 10, End-of-course math in 9th and 10th grade based on coursework in which student is enrolled (Algebra I and Geometry or Geometry and Algebra II).


  1. Students will be required to take and pass ELA 10 and Algebra 1 or demonstrate proficiency through the approved alternate menu of assessment options.


  1. Students who do not pass will have opportunity to retake if they so choose.


  1. The menu of graduation assessment options (currently afforded to the Class of 2020) that includes other end-of-course state assessments (e.g. Geometry and Algebra II) and assessments such as ACT, SAT, ASFAB, and ACCUPLACER will be maintained. (Note: Students must take, but not necessarily pass the state ELA 10 and Algebra 1 assessments in order to have access to this menu of alternate graduation options.)


  1. English Language Learners in their first year in the United States will be allowed to substitute the state-mandated language proficiency test for the state ELA assessment. Students who, as a result of this law, do not take the ELA 10 will be granted access to the alternative graduation pathways.


  1. A student’s IEP or 504 plan establishes the individualized accommodations, and /or modifications that a district must provide.


NJPSA is supportive of these changes and believes the Board took an important interim step.