Once again, the Star-Ledger has stepped up with a powerful editorial that aims to hold Gov. Murphy and his teachers union allies accountable for not putting New Jersey students first. The editorial questions Murphy’s unconscionable delay releasing the full student data from last spring’s state tests, so schools can get busy remediating the learning loss. Not all New Jersey media outlets display such courage, and some appear contentedly co-opted by teachers union money. Kudos to the Star-Ledger.
Of course, the editorial is more diplomatic than Sunlight, stating: “It’s possible that the Murphy administration is trying to protect the teachers unions…” and chalking it up more to incompetence. But releasing the data is not difficult. Virtually every other state has done so. The NJDOE clearly has the data and was able to manipulate it to produce aggregated results to the State Board of Ed. Sunlight believes that if Murphy wanted the full data released, it would have been released.
We believe that the more plausible explanation is the comment by NJEA Communications Director Steve Baker, who dismissed the value of the tests. How convenient. The NJEA touts its #1 ranking by EdWeek, which is largely based on standardized test scores, but now sees them as merely reflective of “community wealth.”
Baker’s comments attempting to delegitimize standardized testing align very nicely with the NJEA’s comments last week to the Joint Committee on Public Schools, dutifully parroted by NJEA-supported Assembly members Jasey and Caputo. The obvious implications: If the tests are no good, then neither is the data. So what’s the big deal with releasing all the data?
The Star-Ledger makes clear what the big deal is:
“Time is running out. If kids don’t learn to read by fourth grade … it cripples their learning in other subjects, altering the trajectory of their lives.” [Emphasis added.]
That it is left to the Star-Ledger to point this out tells you all you need to know about the shameful stance of the NJEA, Murphy and the other lapdog pols who covet NJEA donations. Those who are charged with educating our children are shamefully abdicating their duties.
Once again, under Murphy, the deep-pocketed, politically connected special interests win and New Jersey students and families lose.