Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29), chair of the Senate Education Committee, issued the following statement today welcoming the decision by Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet to pause from moving forward on the plan to eliminate four of the six high school PARCC assessments without the opportunity to engage in a constructive discussion and absent a viable plan to replace the performance tests:
“I welcome the decision by the commissioner to put a pause on the administration’s plan to eliminate four of the PARCC tests. Eliminating these assessments, absent a cohesive plan to replace, them could have a negative and counterproductive impact on the quality of education.
“We now have a great opportunity to engage all of the stakeholders to work together in a deliberative manner and develop a thoughtful plan that delivers real and lasting solutions. Any direction we take with education in New Jersey must be equitable, substantiated by facts and data, and must protect the most vulnerable students.
“We must identify ways to measure student learning continually and in a multitude of ways with tools that allow for an accurate reflection of teaching and learning. If we make changes, it is vital that there is a seamless transition from the current system to whatever assessment standards and procedures will take its place.
“Even as we are seeing improvements in overall student performance, digging deeper into the data we still see significant achievement gaps. It is an educational imperative that we raise the performance level of all students so that each and every child has the opportunity for a quality education.
“New Jersey is a leader in education. Let’s take this opportunity to set the stage to make New Jersey a leader with high standards and quality assessments so that every student has the opportunity and ability to succeed.”
(Note: The Senate Education Committee and the Assembly Education Committee will hold a joint meeting on Monday, September 17th to hear from the Commissioner of Education on the PARCC assessments.)
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