New Jersey may be seeking a waiver from administering federally required achievement tests, but that does not mean the state will not be collecting at least some data on student performance this spring. 

While waiting to hear from the Biden administration whether its request for a waiver will be granted, the New Jersey Department of Education on Feb. 25 issued a broadcast memo asking districts to collect data from student performance tests that were administered between Nov. 16, 2020 and Feb. 19, 2021. 

“We support New Jersey’s request for a waiver from the annual federal student achievement tests,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association. “We think it would provide some much-needed relief to boards, students and school staff. This latest move, to analyze data from local tests, allows districts to gather crucial information about their students’ performance without imposing the burden of additional tests.”     

Districts will use local assessment data to report on whether students are below, on, or above grade level. The data collection process will be open to all districts from March 15, 2021 through April 16, 2021 and will occur through the NJDOE’s NJ Homeroom. 

The purpose of this collection is to obtain mid-year local assessment data that can be used to determine whether students are on track to meet their grade level New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) for this year,” the memo said. 

Each district will rely on local English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science interim assessment data to report student progress through an NJDOE-provided template, the memo saidDistricts will report progress on: 

  • English language arts, K-10 
  • Math, K-8; Algebra I, II and Geometry
  • Science: K-11; Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Earth and Space Science.

To support the data collection effort, virtual technical assistance training will be forthcoming, the NJDOE memo said. 

For further information, go to the website.