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Turner-Diegnan Bill to Revamp Graduation Proficiency Test Advances


Trenton – In an effort to improve state standardized testing, the Senate Education Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner and Senator Patrick Diegnan that would revise the provisions of the law concerning graduation proficiency requirements.

The bill, S-2349, would direct the State Board of Education, in coordination with the Commissioner of Education, to administer the New Jersey Graduation Proficiency Assessment (NJGPA) as a field test for 11th grade students in the class of 2023, however, it would exempt March 2022 NJGPA results as a graduation prerequisite for the class of 2023.

“We do not yet know the full extent of learning loss from disruptions to students’ routines and remote learning during the pandemic, and to place more pressure on students to be able to graduate only adds to students’ psychological and emotional stress and especially burdens certain groups of students,” said Senator Turner (D-Mercer/Hunterdon).  “Students in economically disadvantaged districts went longer without computers and the internet, preventing them from participating in online classes or doing schoolwork.  Offering the exam as a field test will help to provide valuable data on how our students are faring without increasing the risk of pushing some students to drop out when they cannot meet the higher score.”

“This legislation will revise existing law, which mandates that an exam must be taken in eleventh grade,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “The State Board and education leaders will now be given the ability to fully consider what is the most effective way to determine if our students are prepared to enter the workforce and go on to college.”

The bill was released by a vote of 5-0.