Public Comment Period: Share Your Views on Proposed Changes to Assessment and Graduation Requirements!

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As you know, the State Board of Education voted on October 3rd to modify our current requirements for state assessment at the high school level. The proposed changes are now published in the New Jersey State Register for a public comment period. The State Board will be hearing public testimony on this topic at their meeting on November 7th. Additionally, you may submit written comments on the proposed changes.
The Code Proposal
Specifically, the modifications to the current requirements would change state assessment at the high school level in the following ways:
  • 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).
  • Students will be required to take and pass ELA 10 and Algebra 1 or demonstrate proficiency through the approved alternate menu of assessment options.
  • Students who do not pass will have opportunity to retake if they so choose.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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. We are also appreciative 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.
If adopted, these code changes will be effective from 2019 through 2025.
Your Voice is Needed!
The public is invited to participate by providing comments on proposed rules either at a public testimony session or by submitting written comments on proposed rules.
It is critically important that our State Board of Education hear from schools leaders and educators on this important topic.
Anyone who would like to speak during the public testimony session on November 7th, may reserve a time by registering online or calling the State Board office at 609-376-9071. (Please note that space and time are limited).
Individuals who are unable to be present at a public testimony session may submit written comments on the topic to be considered by the State Board of Education.
Why the State Board needs to hear from you:
  • School leaders are encouraged to share their expertise and professional experiences with the implementation of PARCC including the pros and cons of the PARCC assessment requirements;
  • You have a unique insight into your students’ response to the current testing requirements, particularly any confusion that has resulted from the complexity of current graduation requirements. Also, please share your student participation rates and their views of the relevance of the required assessments to their future plans;
  • Share your perspective on the proposed reduction of assessments at the high school level and the maintenance of alternate pathways to meet high school graduation requirements. Share information about the formative and summative assessments utilized in your school.
  • Thank the State Board members for their thoughtful consideration of the issues and their willingness to hear from educators on this important proposal.
State Board Contact Information:
Written comments may be mailed to the following address:
New Jersey Department of Education
State Board Office
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-500
State Board of Education Members
Arcelio Aponte, President
Mary Beth Berry
Elaine Bobrove
Fatimah Burnam-Watkins
Ronald K. Butcher, Ed.D.
Jack Fornaro
Mary Elizabeth Gazi
Kathy A. Goldenberg, Vice President
Nedd James Johnson, Ed. D.
Ernest P. Lepore
Andrew J. Mulvihill
Joseph Ricca, Jr., Ed.D.
Sylvia Sylvia-Cioffi
We are here to help!
If you have any questions, or if we may be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your NJPSA Government Relations team at any time! (609) 860-1200.