NJ College and Career Readiness Task Force Announces Public Hearings

TRENTON — The Department of Education today announced that the College and Career Readiness Task Force will hold two public hearings in December. One will be conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 5 p.m. in the Student Community Center-Davidson Room at the County College of Morris. The second will be held Thursday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m. in the New Campus Center at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The purpose of the hearings is to gather input from the public on educating students to the level of college and career readiness. The public input will inform the recommendations in the task force’s final report which is due to the NJ Department of Education by Dec. 31.

The College and Career Readiness Task Force is a group of K-12 and higher education practitioners and business community representatives that have two main responsibilities: clearly articulating the knowledge and skills that students should master to be “college- and career-ready,” and ensuring that New Jersey has the appropriate graduation requirements and high school assessments in place to evaluate the mastery of these readiness standards.

Input from the public should address these critical questions that the task force is charged with answering for the NJDOE in its final report:

  1. What does college and career readiness mean?
  2. What is the appropriate way to assess this level of student achievement?
  3. What graduation requirements should be required, including comprehensive examinations and end-of-course assessments?
  4. What process, benchmarks and timelines should be established to guide transition from the current system to the new system?

The Career and College Readiness Task Force will accomplish this charge by doing the following:

  • Evaluating the degree to which the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) and Alternative High School Assessment (ASHA) are appropriately gauging college and career readiness;
  • Reviewing how other states are defining and evaluating college and career readiness;
  • Recommending specific educational standards, course offerings, learning outcomes, graduation requirements, college entrance and placement requirements, and workforce readiness requirements;
  • Identifying the means of measuring success for schools and districts including assessment tools to measure school completion and college entrance readiness that can be relied on by P-12, higher education and employers as a valid indicator of student readiness. The review will include recommendations concerning a new comprehensive exam and end-of-course assessments;
  • Identifying data needs related to NJ demographics, school learning outcomes, completion and assessment, college entrance, retention and graduation, and demonstrated national best practice aligning school and college completion; and
  • Establishing a state-level transition plan and timelines for moving from the existing system to the new system including:
    – establishing a structure and process to support implementation of the school/college completion agenda;
    – engagement of appropriate constituencies, including teachers, college faculty, business leaders and others;
    – identifying the need for professional development; and
    – field-testing the new assessments.

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