Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) is supporting revisions to the state’s core learning standards for public schools that include more specific computer science requirements that will give students the skills they need to get a meaningful job after high school.

Presentation of the revisions to the State Board of Education last week by New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet and his staff focused on revised standards in seven subject areas, from world languages to social studies. The proposed standards for public schools include more specific computer science requirements and a category titled “career readiness, life literacy and key skills.”

DeCroce, who is a member of the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee and  the Joint Committee on Public Schools said she welcomes Repollet’s recommended revisions and other changes that will fulfill the primary mission of education – “which is to make sure our students leave school with marketable skills and the knowledge that will allow them to effectively continue their education at the collegiate level.”

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DeCroce said the booming national economy has employers hungry for people with technological workplace skills. “The job demand is there, we have to make sure that our schools are focused on meeting that demand,” said DeCroce. 

Last week’s presentation to the state board focused primarily on two categories: “Computer Science and Design Thinking” and “Career Readiness, Life Literacy and Key Skills.”

The revisions came out of discussions with business leaders who have complained that New Jersey high school and college graduates lack workplace skills to effectively perform in a job. Those skills include critical thinking, collaboration and communications, according to statement attributed to Beverly R. Plein, director of the state education department’s office of standards.

“New Jersey spends more taxpayer money per student than all but two states in the nation. We have an obligation to make sure that money is spent on an education that ensures that every student who graduates from a public school has the skills that meet the needs of the workplace. To do less than that would be cheating the taxpayers and our children,” said DeCroce 

DeCroce said she hopes that Commissioner Repollet will continue making revisions to the school curriculum create career-ready students.

“If our students are not career ready, then we have failed them and their parents,” said DeCroce.