Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DeCroce Bill to Restrict Standardized Tests in New Jersey Passes Assembly

Students in the Garden State should not be given standardized tests until they reach the third grade, according to several New Jersey lawmakers including the chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.
There is a push to prohibit, by law, administering standardized exams from kindergarten through second grade.
Bi-partisan legislation co-sponsored by Assembly members, Pat Diegnan (D-South Plainfield), Charles Mainor (D-Jersey City), Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson), Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) and Betty Lou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) would codify in law that the exams can’t be administered until a child enters third grade. The bill does not ban all testing in grades K-2. Evaluations can be given and scored by a teacher or school board.
“Children in the early grades should spend as much class time as possible learning the fundamentals of reading, math and social skills,” DeCroce said. “These years are crucial for forming the foundation for future education. Instead of testing them to collect data, we should allow kids to be kids.”
According to the measure, schools would have to provide information — no later than Oct. 1 of each year — that would include:
The reason for the test;
How much preparation time is needed;
The length of the tests;
The rules and costs associated with each test.

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