SENATE RESOLUTION No. 129
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED MAY 14, 2015
Senator M. TERESA RUIZ
District 29 (Essex)
Urges Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines on how students not participating in Statewide assessment will be supervised and what alternate arrangements may be provided.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As amended by the Senate on June 29, 2015.
A Senate Resolution urging the Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines on how students not participating in the Statewide assessment will be supervised.
Whereas, This spring, an unprecedented number of students did not participate in the Statewide assessment; and
Whereas, According to recent testimony from the Commissioner of Education, preliminary data indicate that about four percent of elementary school students, seven percent of 9th grade students, and nearly 15 percent of 11th grade students did not participate in the first administration of the Statewide assessment in 2015 as a significant number of parents made the decision that their child would not sit for the test; and
Whereas, Parents and students have experienced great uncertainty on how students who are not participating in the Statewide assessment will be occupied during test administration and what, if any, alternate arrangements or activities will be provided for these students during this time; and
Whereas, Different school districts have adopted different policies on how students who do not participate in the Statewide assessment are to be supervised and engaged, with some districts adopting a “sit and stare” policy in which the student must remain seated and quiet in the testing room, while other districts have prepared alternate arrangements for students who do not participate in the test including, but not limited to, moving students to a nontesting room, allowing independent reading, or assigning school work; and
Whereas, Given the absence of a universal policy, there is a need for clear communication between school district administrators and parents, students, and school district staff on how students who are not participating in the Statewide assessment will be supervised, in what location they will be placed, and whether any alternate activities will be provided; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Commissioner of Education is urged to develop guidelines 1by September 1, 20161 that identify a range of appropriate policies that may be adopted by a school district when considering how students not participating in the Statewide assessment will be supervised and what, if any, alternate arrangements will be provided to them during the test administration. The guidelines should prohibit a school district from taking punitive action against a student including, but not limited to, the adoption of a sit and stare policy in response to the
student’s refusal to participate in the Statewide assessment. The guidelines should also address how and when the district’s policy will be communicated to parents, students, and school district staff.
2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the Commissioner of Education and each member of the State Board of Education.