The State Board of Education and Murphy’s Department of Education continue to obscure crucial data about the impact of learning loss connected to New Jersey’s school COVID policies, and Senator Kristin Corrado today called the stall tactics “embarrassing, politically motivated, and an insult to the parents of children who may never fully recover from the educational failings.”
During the State board’s lengthy December meeting on Wednesday, the agenda skirted the troubling academic repercussions, concentrating instead on amending the verbiage and definitions to enhance educational equality and equity.
“New Jersey students in every grade, from preschool to 12, have endured unthinkable developmental harm due to devastating school closings, mask edicts, and the disruptions of virtual learning,” said Corrado (R-40). “This is a full-blown educational crisis, and the Administration is more concerned with social engineering and partisan gamesmanship.
“Students who have been impacted by the Administration’s decisions and ill-conceived mandates do not get a do-over. Many have already graduated and moved on to college or the job market, and the Governor’s team in Trenton is still doing everything possible to hide the numbers from New Jersey residents,” Corrado said. “They don’t want the public to know how severely the pandemic has hurt students.”
During Wednesday’s meeting, the board viewed a presentation on student proficiency as gauged by the State’s Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) administered last spring.
“The numbers in the report are devastating. More than half the students tested failed the core subjects – English Language Arts and mathematics,” Corrado noted. “Students across all grade levels have fallen behind, and the majority of graduating high school students lacked proficiency.
“To fully understand the gravity of the long-term impact, and to help forge a plan to mitigate the damage and salvage a generation of youngsters, we must have access to all the facts, not just hand-selected ‘highlights,’” the Senator said. “The longer the Murphy Administration continues to hide the truth, the more difficult it will be to reverse the damage caused by his policies.”
Corrado noted that the Administration’s stonewalling is also impeding analysis of the impact of COVID policies on special education.
“New Jersey’s 245,000 K-12 students with learning disabilities suffered disproportionately during the pandemic days of remote learning, but just how much is impossible to assess, as the Department of Education has not released crucial annual reports, required by law,” stated a press report this week in the Daily Record.
“Murphy and his loyalists in Trenton must be held accountable,” Corrado said. “There is no excuse for this lack of responsiveness. Dragging this out even longer is only doing more harm to the vulnerable students who were most effected by the Governor’s heavy-handed rules. He needs to realize that New Jersey’s young people are more important than his legacy.”
This is a press release.