In his March 24 daily briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) will seek an assessment waiver from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will suspend all statewide standardized assessment for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Murphy noted that his office had consulted with the NJDOE and the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to address the impact of this decision on other areas of state law. He said that the OAG is already working on a subsequent executive order that will be issued once the waivers are granted.

“With students at home, and not in their regular classrooms, it is simply not feasible for us to be able to move forward with testing in any meaningful way,” Murphy said. “This decision will not impact the graduation requirements of any student.”

On March 20, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) would not require statewide standardized assessment participation for K-12 students. During the press conference, Trump stated, “With many schools closed due to the virus, the Department of Education will not enforce standardized testing requirements, very importantly, for students in elementary through high school for the current year.” The USDOE has instituted a streamlined waiver process so that states can apply and receive confirmations of waiver applications in an expedited fashion.

Over the past few weeks, NJEA has been working with the NJDOE to advocate for the suspension of statewide standardized testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. NJEA’s Professional Development and Instructional Issues Division will supply the field with updates from the NJDOE as they become available.

Please visit NJEA’s COVID-19 Resource page for the current version of our assessment work during this time.

Please reach out to NJEA’s Professional Development and Instructional Issues Division at assessment@njea.org, for questions, concerns or support.