TRENTON, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 117, which waives 2019-20 mandatory state testing requirements for eighth grade students and Class of 2020 graduating seniors.  

“As a state, we must continue to adapt to the new reality that COVID-19 has created in our state, a task that our students and educators are navigating every day,” Gov. Murphy said. “The waiver of these student assessment requirements will ensure that no student is left behind or unduly penalized due to these extraordinary circumstances.”

The executive order waives the graduation assessment requirement for high school seniors who have not yet met the assessment requirement and planned to submit a portfolio appeal. This means that approximately 13,000 students will no longer have to submit such an appeal in order to graduate this year. 

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The order also waives the statutory requirement that a statewide assessment be administered to all eighth-grade students to assess progress toward mastery of graduation proficiency standards. Additionally, the order prohibits the use of student growth data as an evaluation tool for educators and waives the statutory requirement of three observations and evaluations for all non-tenured teaching staff for the 2019-20 school year. 

“Governor Murphy’s action establishes a rational, responsible and fair approach to eliminate disruptions faced by school students and staff,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “By clearing the pathway of obstacles, it allows schools to maintain their focus on providing critical education services to students.” 

To read Executive Order No. 117, click here.

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