SENATE RESOLUTION No. 137

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JULY 23, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† 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 introduced.

††


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 ďsit and stareĒ 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; and

Whereas, †On June 29, 2015, the Senate adopted Senate Resolution No. 129 (1R) that inadvertently included an incorrect date by which the Senate would like the Commissioner of Education to adopt guidelines for school districts on how students not participating in the Statewide assessment will be supervised and whether any alternate arrangements will be provided to them; and

Whereas, Given the critical nature of this issue to the Senate and to the Stateís students and their parents, this Senate resolution will urge the commissioner to adopt those guidelines by September 1, 2015 in order that they be in place for the 2015-2016 school year; now, therefore,

 

†††† Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† The Commissioner of Education is urged to develop guidelines by September 1, 2015 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 studentís refusal to participate in the Statewide assessment.† The guidelines should also address how and when the districtís 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.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This resolution urges the Commissioner of Education to develop guidelines by September 1, 2015 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 studentís refusal to participate in the Statewide assessment.† The guidelines should also address how and when the districtís policy will be communicated to parents, students, and school district staff.