On Jan. 11, Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 214, addressing exit-testing requirements for graduation. In response to EO 214, on Feb. 10, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) released an updated broadcast on graduation assessment requirements. Further, on Feb. 11, NJDOE released a broadcast delaying the implementation of the statewide assessment system until no earlier than April 5, 2021.

On March 17th, 2021, the NJDOE released a follow-up broadcast detailing their intention to submit “a detailed request for a complete waiver of the requirement to administer statewide assessments for the 2021-2021 school year” no later than March 19th. In addition, the broadcast details that districts must be prepared to administer the assessment if the United States Department of Education denies the waiver or a response is not received in time for the fast approaching assessment administration windows.

***Please sign and share NJEA’s CURRENT ASSESSMENT TAKE ACTION by urging Secretary of Education Cardona to grant the full assessment waiver for the state of New Jersey.***

Assessment – Statewide Assessment Calendar & Trainings

NJDOE has updated the assessment administration windows.

  • The DLM and ACCESS assessment administration windows have been changed to 4/5/2021-6/11/2021.
  • The NJ-SLA assessment administration window has been changed to 5/3/2021-6/11/2021.

Key dates and times for district preparatory requirements are located here. District Test / Technology Coordinator Training will occur “virtually and on-demand” and will be made available on the NJDOE’s website between March 26th – April 16th, 2021.

Spring 2021 training will be on-demand. These modules will be available from March 29 – April 16, 2021 and “must be completed within that timeframe.” Live Virtual training sessions will be available April 12 – April 15, 2021.

In-Person and Remote Assessment Administration

Assessment administration will provide both in person and remote administration options for the NJ-SLA only. ACCESS for ELLs and DLM must be administered in person. While NJEA is still awaiting further details and clarification on remote administration requirements, we know:

  • Remote testing is an option for students “who do not require certain in-person accommodations and modifications.”
  • Students who take the assessment remotely, “will be remotely monitored by the test administrator and other authorized personnel designated by the school or district.”
  • NJDOE’s Assessment Webpage states, “Students will access the NJSLA remotely through a browser or an app that can be downloaded by a student, guardian, or remotely installed by a school district on managed devices.”Once authorized, students can log on to their assessment at the scheduled time and complete their tests from a remote location. New and enhanced test management dashboards allow teachers/proctors to monitor student test progress and completion in real time.”
  • NJDOE has linked Pearson’s Remote Testing Modules for Districts within their broadcast as well.
    • “Pearson recommends synchronous video monitoring (using Teams, Zoom, Hangout, or other platforms) of up to 20 students per remote testing session. In doing so, teachers and test administrators can:
      • Review pretest information or instruction with students.
      • Single or small monitor-group test sessions and more easily take individual student questions.
      • Respond to students in realtime.”
    • “Security – Use the following guidelines when preparing for TestNav remote delivery:
      • Browser-based TestNav allows students to communicate during testing with their teacher.
      • Look at “shared responsibility” for test security that aligns with local policies and administration support.
      • Use pre-agreed upon chat and video conferencing software to contact students and actively monitor student testing. Students may need to turn off video conferencing if they experience issues with it, or it reduces network bandwidth affecting optimal TestNav functionality.
      • Require that students shut down other applications during remote testing
      • Request that families reduce the number of users on a home internet network during testing for optimal functionality.”

Dynamic Learning Map & ACCESS for ELLS – In-Person Administration ONLY

DLM and ACCESS are not permitted to be administered virtually. They will follow the traditional implementation structure as has been done in the past. These assessments will be administered in the April 5 – June 11 window. NJDOE provides an overview of required dates and details within the broadcast and online.

As further guidance from the NJDOE becomes available, we will update our resources for members. If you have any questions about this field advisory, please reach out to your UniServ Field Representative and the Professional Development and Instructional Issues Division.