Debating Christie’s plan to test high school students before graduation

In an attempt to help struggling high school students before it’s too late, Gov. Chris Christie and Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf proposed new testing regulations that would require high school students to pass as many as 12 end of the year tests before they can earn their high school diploma.

The tests would be administered to 9th, 10th and 11th grade students at the end of the year. Students will be tested in language arts, social students, math and science.

What do you think of the Governor’s proposal to test high school students before allowing them to graduate? Do you think this will improve graduation numbers in New Jersey, or is it just a way to require more tests?

Tell us in the comments below.

“It tests them every year so that if they see a child is falling behind they can sit with the family, with the teacher, with the leaders of the school and say, ‘how do we get that child back on track?'” Gov. Christie said Monday.

You can watch video of Governor Christie’s press conference Monday on his official website.

The testing proposal would phase out proficiency exams currently given to New Jersey high school students.

“These no longer are going to be multiple choice tests that test knowledge, Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf said Monday. “At least half of these tests are going to be based on critical thinking skills and analytical skills, like, write a persuasive essay based in primary sources.”

Some educators believe the Governor’s testing plan is just another way to require more tests.

Stan Karp, director of the Secondary Reform Project at the Education Law Center in Newark told The Star-Ledger the Governor’s plan would no improve secondary reform.

“Test-based reform has just not been effective in closing gaps or improving instruction,” Karp said.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal