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Today, Assemblyman Brandon Umba (R-Medford), a member of the Assembly Education Committee, released the following statement calling for the release of NJSLA testing data from Spring 2022, on the heels of recently released NAEP data showing a startling drop in ELA/Math proficiency for students nationwide.
Assemblyman Umba also called for the state to prioritize a learning loss recovery plan while doing away with burdensome mandates, like the extraneous Start Strong assessment that districts had to conduct after statewide learning loss data had already been collected:
“Just as they had finished completing their Student Learning Assessments in June, New Jersey school districts were notified by the State they were being mandated to administer an unnecessary assessment known as Start Strong to be completed by September. Now months later, instead of the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) publicly releasing the data from the NJSLA, they have forced schools to jump through another bureaucratic hoop and give this unnecessary test. Whether it is to keep a lid on the massive learning loss crisis this Administration has failed to meaningfully address, or just a typical lack of outreach and planning with school districts and administrators, this mandate is adding insult to injury. Schools across New Jersey already struggle with our statewide teacher shortage and have to plug holes in their consistently underfunded budgets; they shouldn’t have to give another test when the State is sitting on data from last spring. The DOE has what they need to prepare a meaningful program on learning loss. We don’t need Start Strong. I call on the DOE to stop the burdensome mandates and get to work developing a plan for statewide academic recovery.”