PARSIPPANY — Forcing school children to take standardized tests this year would be an unnecessary burden heaped on students, parents and teachers, says Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, a member of the Joint Committee on Public Schools.
“I don’t know what of value would be gained by forcing students to take standardized tests when their class schedules have been disrupted for the past year and will continue to be disrupted because of the Covid-19 virus,” said DeCroce (R- Morris).
DeCroce joins state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) who is supporting the New Jersey Education Association’s call for Gov. Phil Murphy to cancel standardized testing this year.
“I agree with Senator O’Scanlon’s position and that of the NJEA,” said DeCroce. “The stress and disruption that normally accompanies standardized tests is an unnecessary burden for all involved at this time. I don’t see a valid reason to put parents, students and teachers through the rigors of standardized test that is likely of little or no value.”
DeCroce said the time and energy put into conducting standardized tests should be directed to developing a statewide plan to reopen schools safely.
“We owe the students the quality education that they are guaranteed under our state constitution. We owe their parents the leadership and concern to deliver quality education in these extraordinary times,” added DeCroce.
The assemblywoman, who has served nine years on the joint education committee, said the state needs to show more leadership on developing a workable plan to get children back in the classrooms.
“Every year we hear people in the administration and elected officials in the legislature tell us how important education is. We need to put meaning to those words and work now to build a framework that will shape the reopening of schools in a safe and effective way,” added DeCroce.
The assemblywoman says she supports teachers being a priority for Covid-19 vaccinations.
“Teachers need to be protected if we expect them to go back to the classrooms,” said DeCroce. “Vaccinations are a first step in an overall school reopening plan that so far has not materialized.”