NJEA VP Blistan testifies before Senate Ed Committee on PARCC, evaluation, Common Core

Published on Friday, June 20, 2014

NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan
NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan testifies before the Senate Education Committee.

UPDATE: NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan today testified before the Senate Education Committee about the implementation of PARCC, evaluation, and Common Core. Blistan presented the members of the committee with binders packed with letters from NJEA members about issues with the PARCC pilot testing, which the Department of Education has labeled a “success.”

“Our members report their experiences with crashing computers, unclear instructions, lost student work, and a host of other problems,” Blistan said. “Meanwhile, our members are powerless to help their students. If a teacher even looks at the computer screen while the test is in progress, they can lose their certification. So they are forced to stand by while students struggle with technology issues and become increasingly frustrated and discouraged.”

“We must not kid ourselves by pretending that New Jersey is in any way ready to roll these tests out on a statewide basis, with exceedingly high stakes, next year,” Blistan said.

Today’s Senate Education Committee hearings on S-2154 and S-2176 were “for discussion only.” No vote was taken. NJEA urges all members to contact members of the Senate Education Committee to ask them to support the bill and send it to the full Senate for a final vote.

PARCC delay bill passes Assembly
Next step: Senate Ed Committee

Published June 16, 2014

The Assembly today overwhelmingly passed A-3081, a bill to slow down and study the implementation of PARCC, Common Core and the new educator evaluation system.  The bill, which passed 72-4 with one abstention, calls for the establishment of a task force to study those three related issues and to ensure that they are implemented correctly.

NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer hailed the vote.  “The support for this bill from both sides of the aisle indicates just how serious the issues with rushed implementation are.  We have been calling for a smarter approach for months.  This bill would allow the New Jersey Department of Education to slow down and correct the problems that have emerged as we have tried to implement all of these major changes simultaneously.  We urge the Senate to follow suit quickly, and urge Gov. Christie to sign the bill into law.”

The Senate version of the bill, S-2154, is scheduled to be heard for discussion only by the Senate Education Committee this Thursday, June 19. NJEA urges all members to contact members of the Senate Education Committee to ask them to support the bill and send it to the full Senate for a final vote.

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