SPARTA, NJ – The Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, Lamont Repollet announced today in a letter to school superintendents and administrators the spring testing have been canceled.

"We are pleased with the decision," Sparta Assistant Superintendent Patrick McQueeney said. "This decision removes one more burden that staff and administrators were wrestling with amidst all this uncertainty. It now allows us to continue to focus on supporting our students, supporting our community and supporting each other."

The spring student assessments that are canceled include New Jersey Student Learning, ACCESS for English Language Learners, and the Dynamic Learning Maps. 

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Repollet said New Jersey applied for and was granted a waiver by the U. S. Department of Education.  The waiver was offered to states canceling standardized testing due to the coronavirus. 

The standardized test are used in a myriad of ways. In addition to benchmarking student achievement, they are part of graduation requirement and used for teacher evaluations.

The notice said the state will be making the test available to freshmen, sophomores and juniors, as well as middle school students taking high school level classes, in the summer or fall if they want to use the NJSLA high school tests to meet their graduation requirements. 

 Juniors and sophomores have a menu of options for meeting the graduation requirements.

"I think that the canceling of state standardized testing definitely makes sense in light of the current situation," Sparta High School Principal Ronnie Spring said. "Right now, our biggest concern should be the health and well-being of the entire Sparta community and providing students with the best Distance Learning experience we can provide.  Adding the additional stressor of state standardized testing on both students and teachers does not positively contribute to either of those goals."  

Last week the College Board announced they would be canceling the March and May SAT testing though June remains as scheduled. 

The organization also administers the Advanced Placement or AP programs that are offered in most high schools in the country. They are currently offering online resources for teachers to give remote instructions.  The College Board said they are still working on a plan for administering AP tests, scheduled for May. "We're investing in the development of a new at-home testing option," the website said, with an update expected by April 3.

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