At its September meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and took action on the following items:
State Level Student Performance Data The state released a summary of statewide testing data for the Spring 2019 administration of the assessment. As part of the administration of the assessment, the NJDOE also shortened the exam for students without affecting the ability to gather the needed performance data. The data showed that there was an increase in the number of students who met or exceeded expectations in English language arts and math. However, the results also showed that there are continuing challenges for improvement among various student subgroups.
As part of the presentation, NJDOE also discussed with the State Board the proposed timeline for the next generation of assessments to be implemented for the graduating class of 2025. The implementation of these assessments will begin in the 2021-2022 school year.
On Sept. 9, the NJDOE released individual student scores to districts with instructions on dissemination to parents. Parent notification must be complete by Oct. 1. Superintendents must report results to the board of education no later than Nov. 8, 2019.
Standards and Instructional Units Update The NJDOE is rolling out instructional units in English language arts and math to help support districts in aligning instruction to curriculum. It is a collaborative toolkit that is posted on the NJDOE website. The instructional units maintain the rigor of the standards and provide school districts and professional learning communities with a meaningful resource from which to build standards-aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment. In this version, the student learning objectives (SLOs) identify the skills and conceptual understandings that students must master to meet the expectations of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in ELA and mathematics.
Additionally, the NJDOE is embarking on a review of all of the Student Learning Standards and plans to complete its review and have its final draft to the State Board for adoption in June 2020.
- Charter school update – Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet gave a brief update on charter schools. He said that 11 schools had their charters renewed and 3 new schools were approved, creating 1,000 new charter school seats.
- Science assessment — The State Board began discussions concerning the cutoff score for the new student assessment in science. The New Jersey Student Learning Assessment-Science (NJSLA-S) will replace the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) for Science and the New Jersey Biology Competency Test.