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    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: February 5, 2003


DOE FACT SHEET

Proposed Amendments to Rules for Standards and Assessment
February 5, 2003

OVERVIEW

The Department of Education is proposing to amend NJAC 6A:8, Standards and Assessment, which contains the Core Curriculum Content Standards and the statewide assessment system. The amendments are designed to create greater flexibility for high school students to select courses. The amendments also would establish paths to a high school diploma that place a priority on demonstrating proficiencies in required content areas. The proposed revisions in the high school graduation requirements have evolved from the New Jersey Department of Education’s Standards and Graduation Requirements Forum, held in November 2002, and from extensive public testimony. Other amendments to this chapter will ensure that New Jersey conforms to changes in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act.

HIGHLIGHTS

The proposed amendments would:

  • Reduce the number of required high school credits in specific courses from 100 to 95 while maintaining the current state minimum credit requirement at 110 total credits.
  • Create options, for five of those 95 credits, for students to take courses in technological literacy (including computer applications and technology education), career education and life skills (including career/technical arts) or vocational-technical education.
  • Allow school districts to select among several possible models of activities or programs linked to the Core Curriculum Content Standards and including appropriate assessments to determine whether students are meeting or exceeding the standards.
  • Empower local school districts to use performance or competency assessments to determine whether students have successfully completed programs or activities to fulfill graduation requirements.
  • Conform to various provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act as they relate to rigorous content standards, assessments aligned to the standards, and accountability systems around the standards that include all students.
  • Replace the current district and school target of 75 percent proficiency for the Elementary School Proficiency Assessment and the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment and the 85 percent proficiency target for the High School Proficiency Assessment with an annually increasing proficiency percentage.
  • Conform to amendments of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that require all children with disabilities to be included in statewide assessment programs, with appropriate accommodations where necessary. States must develop alternate assessment for children who cannot participate in general state assessments.

TIMELINE

Code development is a public process in which input is solicited from educators and interested citizens on items under consideration by the board. The new chapter is scheduled for second discussion and public testimony scheduled in March. The amended code will be introduced at proposal level in May, after which additional public comment will be solicited. The amendments are scheduled to be considered at adoption level in October 2003.

DETAILS

More details, including actual code language, appears in the State Board of Education agenda for February 5, 2003.