New Jersey lawmakers seek to abolish high school graduation proficiency testing

Teacher in school classroom - File Photo.

TRENTON, NJ – A bill before the New Jersey legislature will seek to abolish the state’s high school graduation proficiency test as a requirement to obtain a high school diploma.

Bill A3308, sponsored by Shirley K. Turner, an assemblywoman representing the Trenton region, is seeking to eliminate high school graduation proficiency test.

This bill eliminates the high school graduation proficiency test, which is required under current law to be taken in the 11th grade.

Turner said she believes that graduation exit testing does not accurately represent student learning or career and college readiness.

“Studies have shown numerous flaws with standardized testing, including variation in student performance based on external circumstances, strong racial and socioeconomic biases, and inconsistency with material taught in class,” Turner said in a statement. “he purpose of using standardized tests as graduation requirements is often to assess college readiness, however studies have shown that other metrics, such as grade point average, can predict the likelihood of graduation from college up to five times better than standardized test scores. In recent years, many states have eliminated graduation exit testing for these reasons, and currently only 11 states still maintain a testing requirement for high school graduation.”

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Under the bill, if signed into law, the State Board of Education would be prohibited from including in the standards for graduation from high school a requirement that students achieve satisfactory performance on the Statewide graduation proficiency test.