Senate Conflagration: Repollet Tells Ruiz PAARC Overhaul is a ‘Two to Three Year Process’

TRENTON – When state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) expressed her elation to Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet over a decision by the State Board of Education to delay sticking a fork in PAARC testing, she also wanted his explanation for the delay.

“When you’re looking at a policy change of this magnitude, we want to make sure the decision doesn’t have an adverse effect,” Repollet told Ruiz, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Education. “We know it’s a two to three-year process. We don’t want to rush the conversation.”

“This is a restart button,’ Ruiz said.

“We want to make sure any changes will have a positive ripple effect, not a tsunami effect,” said Repollet.

He wants slow movement, the commissioner insisted. He wants to keep standards that require critical thinking but reduce the length of time of the tests. He wants proposed targeted amendments for special ed and foreign language students and a reduction of the number from six to two of state assessments in high schools.

The hearing was pointed at times, as the chair criticized a “jumbled” process.

“Now you guys are going to go back and shift the whole concept,” said Ruiz.

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt (D-6), chair of the Assembly Education Committee, said she talked to educators in the Camden area and described a reaction of “change and confusion.”

“We did hear from them regarding the constant amount of change,” Lampitt griped.


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