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AFT New Jersey Supports Emphasis on ‘Teaching Not Testing;’ Reduction of High Stakes Impact of PARCC

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera said, “Teachers should be able to focus on educating the whole child to be successful in college or career; to be well-rounded as developing citizens. Reducing the emphasis on teaching to the test means that classroom educators can innovate and personalize lessons to students’ needs. We appreciate having a Department of Education that listened to educators’ voices and made the appropriate decision to reduce the weight of PARCC scores on teacher evaluations. Testing should be used to diagnose the strength of curriculum and make programmatic determinations of where students need additional support; PARCC scores are not an accurate measure of teacher effectiveness any more than a determinate of whether an individual student should graduate.”

AFTNJ Pre-K to 12 Vice President Robert Barbier said, “By listening to all qualified stakeholders equally, the DOE has taken important steps to eliminating the adversarial relationships fostered by the previous administration. This openness to collaboration and the building of bridges between educational stakeholders has the potential to change the shape of education in New Jersey moving forward. This change rectifies an evaluation system that was fundamentally flawed with a long-awaited application of equity across the statewide evaluation process.”

Chiera is a retired classroom educator. More about Chiera >>

Barbier is a Garfield High School English teacher. More about Barbier >>