Dear Senator Allen and Assemblymen Conaway and Singleton:
The results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests are in, and once again, they show what most of us have known for decades: that New Jersey’s students are among the top in the nation.
The NAEP scores also show something else we’ve known for decades: that students’ standardized test scores largely correlate with their socioeconomic status. New Jersey and Connecticut, another top-performing state, are among the wealthiest in the nation, and we can interpret as much from their results.
But within even the wealthiest states in the nation, and certainly here in New Jersey, there exist concentrated areas of poverty where students produce test scores that are lower than those of their wealthier counterparts. Governor Christie labeled schools in these urban areas as “failure factories,” primarily because he believes that students’ “success” or “failure” is determined solely by scores on standardized tests.
We, as educators, know differently: the children in the State of New Jersey are not failures, and they should not be treated as such.