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Codey Responds To Dept. Of Education’s Dismissive Remarks On National Testing Results

Rankings Show New Jersey Students Achieved Top Scores in Reading and Math

TRENTON – Senator Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, issued the following statement today regarding comments made over the weekend by Education Department spokesperson Alan Guenther dismissing the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing program, which showed New Jersey’s fourth- and eighth-graders achieved top scores in reading and math proficiency:

“A few weeks ago, I urged the Governor and the New Jersey Education Association to put past disputes behind them and work together for positive change in our schools. Apparently, Mr. Guenther didn’t get the memo.

“The latest round of NAEP testing clearly shows what we’ve known for a long time: that New Jersey students receive some of the best education in the entire nation. Our students’ high scores in reading and mathematics are a direct result of the quality instruction they get in the classroom.

“At a time when the Department of Education should be putting out a statement praising our teachers, students and schools, it instead calls them part of a ‘wretched system.’ I think that remark should put Mr. Guenther in line for detention.

“Obviously, no educational system is fool-proof. We need to do a better job reaching out to the kids who fall through the cracks, who still struggle despite the excellent education made available to them.

“But the NAEP results show that the funding formula approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor two years ago has yielded positive results. Those results may be inconvenient to individuals who want to dismantle the current system, but the fact remains that the current system is working.

“Instead of being negative about New Jersey’s schools, Mr. Guenther and Commissioner (Bret) Schundler should be highlighting the positives, and looking to grow on past successes. That’s their job.”