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, following recently released NAEP data showing stunning drop in ELA/Math proficiency for students nationwide.
Assemblyman Umba also called on the state to prioritize its learning loss recovery plan while rolling back onerous mandates, such as the Start Strong third-party assessments that districts were required to conduct after statewide learning loss data had already been collected:
“Just in June, New Jersey school districts finished completing student learning assessments and were notified by the state that they were tasked with conducting an unnecessary assessment known as Start Strong, which must be completed by September. Now, months later, instead of the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) publicly releasing the NJSLA data, they have forced schools to jump through yet another bureaucratic hoop to administer this unnecessary test. Whether it’s keeping a lid on a massive learning loss crisis that this administration has failed to seriously address, or just a typical lack of outreach and planning with school districts and administrators, this mandate adds insult to injury. Schools across New Jersey are already struggling with a statewide teacher shortage and forced to plug holes in their chronically underfunded budgets; they don’t have to give another test if the state is sitting on last spring’s data. The Ministry of Education has everything it needs to prepare a meaningful program on learning loss. We don’t need Start Strong. I urge the DOE to end the onerous mandates and begin developing a statewide academic recovery plan.”