Joint statement of NJASA, NJPSA and NJEA on standardized testing delay, need for full waiver application

Earlier today, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) announced that it is delaying the beginning of this spring’s scheduled standardized testing window. Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Patricia Wright, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and Marie Blistan, president of the New Jersey Education Association, have issued this statement calling on the NJDOE to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for a full waiver from that testing:

“We are pleased to learn that the New Jersey Department of Education has announced a delay in the implementation of standardized testing this spring. Nonetheless, we remain steadfast in our opposition to any statewide standardized testing this year in light of the conditions our students have faced for the last 11 months. Along with parents and other advocates for children, we have been very clear. We are not requesting flexibility; we are requesting the elimination of unreliable and harmful statewide standardized testing this spring. There is no educational justification for the waste of instructional time and educational resources testing will entail if it is not eliminated this year.

“Therefore, we urge the NJDOE to use the additional time it has granted itself to prepare and submit a federal testing waiver, as the Biden administration has invited states to do. New Jersey should immediately follow the lead of other states that have already acted in the best interests of students and applied for testing waivers. Nothing stopped those states from advocating for their students and nothing should stop New Jersey from doing the same. Nothing that happens in another month will change the circumstances that make it impossible to safely and fairly administer standardized tests this spring.  Nothing that happens in another month will change the fact that any data gathered this spring, following the year we have all been through, would be invalid and do nothing to help students, educators or policymakers. Our students are still looking to the NJDOE to put their social, emotional and educational wellbeing first. This delay is a wise and necessary move, but it only helps students if the NJDOE acts decisively to eliminate testing altogether this spring.”