The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board thinks poorly of a bill, A 3079, just passed unanimously by the New Jersey Assembly, that would bar standardized testing for children in kindergarten through second grade. The Editorial Board correctly describes the “unnecessary” bill as motivated by “anger and resistance to PARCC”:
[S]tandardized testing, even for the youngest students, has value as an assessment tool, allowing students, teachers and administrators to get a clear idea of what areas of the curriculum may need to be reinforced. Given how critical success in the early grades seems to be to future academic success, a blanket prohibition against standardized testing in those grades doesn’t make sense. And we don’t think lawmakers are qualified to make any such judgment.
The Editorial Board might have pointed out the irony that PARCC-detractors commonly deride these standardized tests aligned with the Common Core Curriculum Standards as an example of federal overreach: how dare governmental authorities override local control! But, of course, the bill banning K-2 testing is also an infringement of local control, barring school districts from using tools that they find advantageous to teaching and learning.
The editorial concludes, “Generations of students have been subjected to standardized testing of one sort or another, for sound academic reasons. Prohibiting standardized testing for students in their early years is not something that should be done without full deliberation by experts in early education — or in the midst of a backlash to PARCC.”