"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, May 14, 2010

You're Doing Heckuva Job, Commissioner Schundler

The incompetent gang that Christie has put together to destroy public education in New Jersey would have comedic possibilities if so many children's lives were not at stake. What a mess.

From Stan Karp at the Education Law Center:

Assembly Ed Committee Seeks Solutions for AHSA Fiasco

A two-hour hearing held May 13 on the NJ Department of Education’s mishandling of the alternative high school assessment (AHSA), ended with members of the Assembly Education Committee searching for ways to avoid a dropout disaster next month. Thousands of students who passed their courses and met all other requirements for graduation, including many who have been accepted to college, the military or other post-secondary institutions, may not receive a diploma because of the scores on the new AHSA.

The committee heard from Commissioner Schundler who attempted to defend what he called “the Corzine Administration’s process.” But he was clearly not well-informed on the details of the issue and deferred many of the questions to Deputy Commissioner Willa Spicer or promised to “get back” to the committee with answers. His plans to offer an “online instructional program” to prepare students for a summer administration of the test drew especially pointed criticism from committee members.

The Commissioner was followed by extensive testimony from the public, including NJEA, Education Law Center, parents, students, teachers, bilingual educators, adult educators, and administrators. Their testimony documented the many flaws in this year’s AHSA process, the chaos and uncertainty it has created for students and their families, and the basic lack of fairness in using the scores to deny diplomas to students next month. [Available testimony attached. Others who testified are encouraged to post their statements to the list.]

By the end of the hearing, Committee Chairman Diegnan and both Republican and Democratic members of the committee were discussing steps they could take to resolve the mess created by the Department's implementation of the new AHSA. With time short and the futures of thousands of students hanging in the balance, the Committee must act quickly.

Notice of any steps the committee takes will be posted as soon as they are available.

Attached: testimony from ELC, parents & students.

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