N.J. moves to cancel state tests, fund efforts to combat learning loss
February 23, 2021
New Jersey will seek federal permission to scrap its annual standardized tests for a second straight year, Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday.
The decision to ask for a waiver follows intense pressure by the powerful state teachers union and some lawmakers to cancel the federally mandated tests, which they say would unnecessarily burden students and educators already exhausted by the pandemic. The Biden Administration has not indicated whether it will grant waivers, though that hasn’t stopped several states from requesting them.
Even as New Jersey looks to cancel assessments that could have offered a statewide glimpse of student learning loss, officials expect that many students have fallen behind during the nearly yearlong disruption of normal schooling. To that end, the state will provide $105 million in grants to address students’ learning gaps and promote their mental health, officials also said Friday.