Murphy a champion of students and schools

NJEA President Marie Blistan issued the following statement in response to an appalling and misleading editorial cartoon published today in reference to Gov. Murphy and PARCC:

“The political cartoon published today depicting governor Murphy as indifferent toward the suffering of students as a result of PARCC is inaccurate, irresponsible and offensive. Our children are being hurt by PARCC, but they have a great champion in Gov. Murphy when it comes to protecting them from that harm. That cartoon does not reflect the work the Murphy administration has done to end the harmful PARCC policies of his predecessor, even over the opposition of those determined to maintain the failed status quo.

“The Murphy administration, through the Department of Education under Commissioner Repollet, has already taken bold steps toward reducing the damage that PARCC is doing to our students and our public schools by reducing the length of testing in all grades by 25 percent. That is a start, but the administration knows that much more must be done and is fully committed to finding a better way to assess student learning.

“That is why, additionally, the department is striving, through regulations proposed to the State Board of Education, to reduce the number of high school tests while still fully meeting the legal requirements for that testing. Further, the proposed regulations would ensure that students continue to have multiple pathways to graduation, just as they currently do. And very importantly, the department’s proposed regulations will help ensure that the needs of English Language Learners and students with special needs are respected and enforced. Those are important steps to protect students while New Jersey moves toward a better assessment model. The SBOE should adopt those regulations immediately, as proposed by the Murphy administration.

“In moving toward a better assessment system, we must prioritize the voices and experiences of parents, students and educators who demand a wholesale overhaul of New Jersey’s failed PARCC experiment. Likewise, we must heed the research that demonstrates that our current use of PARCC is inappropriate. The Department of Education did that prior to formulating its proposed changes.  It’s the right way to make good educational policy.

“We know that governor Murphy’s commitment to the well-being of New Jersey students is absolute and unwavering. New Jersey students are fortunate to have a governor who prioritizes their education above the profits of testing companies and the desire of some to preserve the status quo.

“Gov. Murphy is owed an apology for the misrepresentation of his bold, progressive effort to move New Jersey past PARCC. Even more, our students, who are unquestionably being hurt by  PARCC, are owed the support and cooperation of every stakeholder as we work together to give them the better assessment system they deserve.”

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