Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bloomfield Board Rejects Reformist Zeal


Sounds like they have a superintendent and Board who is making the bold and correct choices. What happened to Montclair? If you told me 10 years ago that Bloomfield was going to be the most progressive district in Essex County and that Montclair would be the first suburban district to fully accept the narrative of a failing school with a corporate solution, I would have told you that this would never happen. Truth is stranger than fiction.
This just in---Bloomfield Board of Education votes in resolution supporting moratorium on tests, evaluation, common core and key aspects of corporate education reform!

RESOLUTION
BLOOMFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION
BLOOMFIELD, NEW JERSEY

WHEREAS, our nation's future relies on a high-quality public education system that provides students with the opportunity to maximize their potential, instills lifelong learning, and promotes the development of engaged and informed global citizens; and

WHEREAS, the current standards-based system is a top-down authoritarian system that disregards the professional decision-making ability of classroom teachers and usurps the local control of educating the children of Bloomfield; and

WHEREAS, all children develop at different rates; and

WHEREAS, the efficacy of the Common Core State Standards (the Common Core) has never been evaluated relative to the previous New Jersey Core Content Curriculum Standards; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core has been integrally linked to the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) assessment in New Jersey by which students, teachers, administrators, schools and school districts will be evaluated; and

WHEREAS, the PARCC assessments will be required in all districts for grades 3-11, beginning in the 2014-2015 school year; and

WHEREAS, the PARCC assessments are central to AchieveNJ, which uses student assessment data in the teacher evaluation process through student growth percentiles (SGP’s) for public school teachers in certain grade levels and content areas; and

WHEREAS, the use of PARCC assessments or any Value-Added Model (VAM) for assessment purposes of children, schools, and teachers has not been shown to be a reliable method; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) members question the reliability of the data and the implementation of the schedule for AchieveNJ and PARCC assessments; and

WHEREAS, the PARCC assessments will require that districts provide the means to test students in a computer-based testing environment; and

WHEREAS, the Bloomfield Public School district will be required to spend an unknown amount for administrative positions, professional development, technology, and staff time to implement these mandates; and

WHEREAS, the Bloomfield Public School district’s Projected State School Aid for the 2014-15 budget represents a total increase in state funding of $126,800, or 0.61%, and PARCC Readiness Aid of a mere $63,400 to offset the substantial requirements of the PARCC assessments; and

WHEREAS, AchieveNJ is an unfunded mandate and the PARCC assessments are a severely underfunded mandate; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey State Assembly has introduced Assembly Bill A3081 and its counterpart in the Senate, S2154, which calls for a minimum of a two-year delay in the use of the PARCC assessment data for any student or school accountability purposes, and calls for the creation of a task force to analyze the potential effects of the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, the new teacher evaluation system, and the use of PARCC assessments.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Bloomfield Board of Education strongly supports passage of Assembly Bill A3081 and Senate Bill S2154; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a moratorium be placed on the use of SGP’s in a teaching staff member’s summative evaluation until such time as the measure has been independently validated; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that full reimbursement be provided by the State of New Jersey for costs incurred in the administration of and training related to the PARCC assessments and the accompanying administration evaluation mandates; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that school districts be given the option of administering the PARCC assessment online, using a pencil and paper format, or a combination of the two during this timeframe; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Commissioner David Hespe, Senate President Steven Sweeney, Senator Ronald L. Rice, Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker, Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo, Senate Education Committee Chair M. Teresa Ruiz, the Joint Committee on Public Schools, New Jersey School Boards Association, New Jersey Education Association, New Jersey Association of School Administrators, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Bloomfield Township Council

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