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Turner-Diegnan Bill to Waive Exit Exam Requirement Passes Senate


Trenton – In recognition of the adversity students faced over the last two years, the Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner and Senator Patrick Diegnan, Jr. that would waive the exit exam requirement for the class of 2023.


The bill, S-2349, 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.”


“The COVID-19 pandemic created major setbacks for our students and their ability to thoroughly learn during home instruction,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This class of students that spent their first two years in a non-traditional learning environment and the NJGPA would not be an accurate or fair assessment of their academic abilities. 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 passed by a vote of 40-0.