TRENTON, NJ - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan and Democratic colleagues to prohibit the administration of commercially developed standardized assessments to students in grades K-2 received final legislative approval recently and now heads to the governor’s desk.
“Additional assessments place an undue burden on students and teachers,” said Diegnan, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee. “These children are just starting their formal education, and another test takes valuable classroom time away from our young learners.”
The bill (A-3079) would prohibit a school district from administering a commercially-developed standardized assessment that is not required by state or federal law to students enrolled in kindergarten through the second grade. The bill defines a “commercially-developed standardized assessment” as a test that requires all test takers to answer the same questions, or a selection of questions from a common bank of questions, in the same manner, and is developed and scored by an entity under a contract with a board of education. The bill would not preclude a classroom teacher or a board of education from developing, administering, and scoring a test in grades K-2.
A commercially-developed standardized assessment shall not include diagnostic and formative assessments used by teaching staff members to identify particular student learning needs or the need for special services, or to modify instructional strategies to improve individual student learning.
The bill was approved 74-0 by the Assembly and 40-0 by the Senate on June 25