End High Stakes Testing in NJ

End High Stakes Testing in NJ

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Eric Milou started this petition

It is with great disappointment that politicians, state board members and the NJDoE have implemented a new 11th grade test (NJGPA) with a passing score of 750 for students to graduate high school.  The misinformed rhetoric that comes from policymakers, politicians and NJDoE representatives is truly sad. 

To set the record straight:

1. The content of this assessment is just recycled questions from the NJSLA and PARCC exams that include questions that we know have no impact nor correlation to the success of students in their future careers or in higher education.

2. The NJDoE cannot respond to what percentage of raw points is needed to obtain the passing score of 750.  How can any educator give a test when no one knows what is needed to pass it?

3. The State Board continues to trot out the “60-70% of first-year students attending a community college require remedial coursework” statistic.  The above statistic is used to defend various positions from the U.S. losing its global economic competitiveness, the implementation of mandatory testing as a graduation requirement or just placing blame on the K-12 education system. But each of these is completely misguided.

Economic Competitiveness: Anthony Cody clearly argues: “The nebulous relationship between the quality of education in the U.S. and the fragility of the U.S. economy simply has never existed. Throughout the past century, no one has ever found any direct or clear positive correlation between measures of educational quality in the U.S. and the strength of the U.S. economy.” 

Exit Exams.  We know that exit exams do NOT seem to help the kids who pass them, and seem to have a negative effect on the kids who don’t.  Simply measuring the problem doesn’t really resolve whatever opportunity gaps or achievement gaps exist (Stan Karp).  Moreover, the absolutely false claim that such exams can solve the remediation problem is debunked by extensive research.  

Remediation solution.  We already know how to solve this issue and many states and universities have already taken successful steps.  The problem is not academic standards in high school, the problem is not having a graduation test serve as a requirement, the problem is the curriculum/content/exams themselves.   To dramatically reduce remediation rates across the country, one only needs to look at these examples. 

Ohio public colleges:  To satisfy the math requirement in Ohio’s public colleges, students not planning to major in math- or science-related fields can go right into a college statistics or quantitative reasoning class despite lower test scores.   

City University of New York (CUNY):  In the past, all students had to pass algebra, regardless of whether they planned to study English or economics. CUNY now requires all of its associate degree programs to offer an alternative to remedial algebra, like quantitative reasoning or statistics. 

Michigan State University has revised its general-education math requirement so that algebra is no longer required of all students. 

A new report finds that statistical courses, rather than algebra remediation, do a better job at helping first-year students succeed when they test into developmental education.  

Finally, I am proud to add that Rowan University has followed the above research and eliminated basic algebra for all students starting in Fall 2017 and our remediation rate has dropped to below 3%.  Detailed evidence and research of our work at Rowan is available HERE.

So in conclusion, we know that the misguided rhetoric of the NJDOE and the state board will not solve any of the above - NOT more graduation testing,  NOT raising the bar and NOT blaming the K-12 system - the solution is real math curriculum changes that already is in place with real results across the country. Now if only NJ politicians, state board members and NJDoE policymakers would listen.

110 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!