Jasey Statement on Christie K-12 Education Executive Order: Making Progress Requires Accounting for the Diversity of Voices Involved

Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Joint Committee on the Public Schools co-chair and lead sponsor of legislation (A-3081) to delay the implementation of new statewide K-12 education standards until after a task force concludes its study of the new rules, released the following statement today on Gov. Chris Christie’s executive order to establish a task force comprised of nine gubernatorial appointees. The Assembly bill calls for a 15-member task force that would include members appointed by the Senate president and Assembly speaker in addition to gubernatorial appointees representing organizations dedicated to advancing K-12 education:

“The governor’s action addresses some of the many issues put forth in the Assembly bill and represents a step forward. I am relieved that the impact of test scores will be reduced as we take time to examine critical discrepancies about the best way to strengthen our schools.

“That said, I do have some concerns about the ability of nine individuals who are unilaterally appointed by the administration to provide impartial evaluation of the Common Core State Standards and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessment – evaluation that will be critical as we work together to prepare New Jersey’s students to compete in the global marketplace.

“Considerable time and effort was invested in developing a task force structure that would be representative of the many stakeholders – parents and teachers chief among them – these changes will impact. As we progress with the shared goal of improving education in New Jersey, it is my hope that the most important people in our children’s lives will be included and their collective effort will lead to a productive, comprehensive examination of the role of testing and its impact on learning in New Jersey schools.

“Above all else, having listened to a variety of constituents who expressed concerns about the requirements PARCC and the Common Core demand, I believe it is imperative that the voices of our state’s parents are heard and their concerns are meaningfully addressed,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris).

Under the Assembly bill, the 15 members of the task force would include:

· Eight gubernatorial appointees – including one member each upon the recommendation of the following organizations: the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, the New Jersey Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the New Jersey Council of Vocational-Technical Schools, the New Jersey Education Association, the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the New Jersey School Boards Association and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network

· Three public members each – one the parent or guardian of a New Jersey public school student, one with demonstrated expertise in language arts literacy instruction and curriculum and one with demonstrated expertise in mathematics instruction and curriculum – appointed by the Senate President and the Speaker of the General Assembly; and

· The Commissioner of Education, or a designee, serving ex officio.