New Jersey lawmakers scramble to protect teachers – not students – from the negative effects of Common Core
Lawmakers in New Jersey’s Assembly have voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would pause the use of Common Core-aligned tests in teachers’ job evaluations – for as much as two years – until officials study the issue.
The bill would create a task force to review the impact of the new Common Core standards and the accompanying Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing.
Most importantly, it would delay the use of the new tests to measure schools and teachers until the task force’s review was complete. The bill doesn’t put a precise time frame on the review, but it could be up to two years.
The measure passed the state Assembly on Monday by a vote of 72-4.
No surprise, the New Jersey Education Association – the state’s powerful teachers union – supports the delay because it would protect educators from having their job reviews affected by how their students perform on the new standardized tests, at least for a while.
(The federal government used its No Child Left Behind waiver program to nudge New Jersey and other states into linking teachers’ evaluations to students’ test scores.)
Democratic Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, one of the lawmakers leading the “delay” effort, said she expected bipartisan support for her bill but was surprised it was so “overwhelming.”
“It reflects the anxiety level across the state,” Jasey told NJSpotlight.com.