TRENTON, N.J. – Lawmakers in New Jersey’s Assembly have voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would pause the use of Common Core-aligned tests in teachers’ job evaluations – for as much as two years – until officials study the issue.
The bill would create a task force to review the impact of the new Common Core standards and the accompanying Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing.
Most importantly, it would delay the use of the new tests to measure schools and teachers until the task force’s review was complete. The bill doesn’t put a precise time frame on the review, but it could be up to two years.
The measure passed the state Assembly on Monday by a vote of 72-4.
No surprise, the New Jersey Education Association – the state’s powerful teachers union – supports the delay because it would protect educators from having their job reviews affected by how their students perform on the new standardized tests, at least for a while.
(The federal government used its No Child Left Behind waiver program to nudge New Jersey and other states into linking teachers’ evaluations to students’ test scores.)
Democratic Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, one of the lawmakers leading the “delay” effort, said she expected bipartisan support for her bill but was surprised it was so “overwhelming.”
“It reflects the anxiety level across the state,” Jasey told NJSpotlight.com.
A companion bill has been introduced in the New Jersey Senate, though it appears a long shot for passage before the Legislature takes its summer break.
Democratic State Sen. Teresa Ruiz is exploring whether or not a delay in Common Core-related consequences for teachers could be accomplished through state regulations that would not require legislative approval, NJSpotlight.com reports.
State officials warn a delay in Common Core testing could lead the federal government to strip New Jersey of its No Child Left Behind waiver.
However, other states – including Kentucky, Maryland, Colorado and Louisiana – have already decided to provide “additional time for teachers to create their own lessons and curriculum, get new professional support, and become familiar with the assessments before they’re used as a measure of teacher performance,” notes a recent letter from the busybodies at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who are actively pushing the Common Core experiment into schools across the nation.
Common Core opponents should support any effort that delays this top-down, education monstrosity from taking full effect.
Still, we can’t help but be appalled that New Jersey lawmakers are working overtime to protect adult school employees from the consequences of Common Core, but have no concerns about how students will be affected by the use of the experimental math and English learning standards.
Nothing in the “delay” effort would stop Common Core and its related assessments from being used in the classroom. In other words, kids would be left unprotected from the potential harms of the K-12 experiment.
And don’t kid yourself, the nationalized standards might very well have negative repercussions for students.
As Common Core opponents have been saying for years, the standards were never piloted in an actual classroom before they were foisted onto the majority of America’s schools. That means a generation of kids are being used as guinea pigs in the service of this grand, one-size-fits-all learning standards experiment.
A bevy of education experts have warned that Common Core’s approach to math instruction leaves students without the requisite knowledge they’ll need to enter college fully prepared to study a STEM-related field (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
But that doesn’t matter to New Jersey’s political leaders, who apparently only care about protecting the unionists who donate time and money to their re-election campaigns.