Sunday, December 6, 2015

Is the NJDOE protecting Gov. Christie's POTUS run?

As those of us in NJ know, Gov. Christie will do anything and everything to side with the prevailing right-wing opinion-of-the-day. So, with his poll numbers in the toilet—not only for his job as governor, but for his POTUS run—is he pulling out all the stops to ensure he protects his image as an ed 'reformer' on the national stage?  


The front page of today's Star Ledger contains an article on NJs PARCC opt-out rates. The state has been less than forthcoming on releasing the numbers despite the fact that Colorado did so last month. 
And we still don't have that all-important data that's supposed to prep students for the March PARCC test "drive instruction" and magically make every single student "college and career ready" (whatever that means). 

The state DOE estimates that 15% of high school juniors, 7% of freshmen, and 4.6% of students in grades 3-8 refused to take the test. But based on anecdotal reporting and comparing '14-'15 enrollment numbers to the actual number of tests completed, NJEA and Save Our Schools NJ put those numbers at around 110,000—the second highest opt-out number in the nation in our first year of testing. New York was number one with 240,000.

But there is absolutely no reason for the delay. The state has the data. So, why have they not released it? Save Our Schools NJ speculates
Could they be protecting Governor Christie's presidential campaign from the embarrassment of NJ having the second highest opt out rates in the country?
Remember, Christie gave an $82.5 million tax break to Pearson to stay in NJ. What else was promised? Big participation numbers? Who knows? But numbers like that will surely put a chill on all those high-powered cocktail parties, fundraisers and glad-handing. And we can't have that now, can we? With only 12 states left in the consortium, and an estimated 500,000 students across the country refusing the PARCC last year, Pearson needs all the help it can get. And with his POTUS campaign verging on life support, so does Christie.  

As Save Our Schools NJs, Julia Sass Rubin stated in the article:
There is no reason why we should all be speculating. They should just put it all out there. They clearly have the data. The people have a right to know this.
Also quoted in the article was Bob Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest:
The notion that (New Jersey) can't put out data until January of 2016 for a test that was administered in early spring of 2015 is ludicrous.
For those of you who are old enough to remember: