Department of Education seeks public testimony on changes to proposed graduation requirements

The New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) is accepting public input on additional proposed changes to statewide graduation assessment requirements.

“Our goal is to ensure our school communities are aware of the process for determining graduation assessment requirements, a concerted effort to ensure the public is fully aware of the graduation assessment expectations for the state’s current and future public high school students,” Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillian, acting commissioner of education, was quoted as saying in a press release from the Department of Education.

“We want to give members of the public ample opportunity to provide their input and suggestions on the proposed graduation requirements that will apply to the classes of 2023 to 2025,” McMillian said.

During a recent meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education approved for publication in the New Jersey Register a notice of substantial changes to proposed amendments regarding standards and assessment, according to the press release.

The notice includes five new amendments, including the provision that students must take the 11th grade state graduation proficiency assessment prior to availing themselves of the portfolio appeals process.

The other four amendments would make technical changes to a proposed definition, correct a typographical error, add a reference to individualized education programs (IEP), and add a reference to the IEP process, according to the press release.

The five amendments relate to previously proposed changes, including the implementation of the 11th grade state graduation proficiency assessment that is required by state law.

If the revised proposal is adopted, students in the classes of 2023 to 2025 who take but do not pass the 11th grade state graduation proficiency assessment can otherwise meet the graduation proficiency assessment requirement by achieving a certain score on the menu of alternative assessments (i.e., SAT, ACT, Accuplacer, etc.) or through the portfolio appeals process, according to the press release.

The graduation proficiency assessment requirements for the class of 2022, which would remain unchanged, are on the DOE’s Graduation Assessment Requirements webpage.

The DOE’s notice of substantial changes upon adoption will be published in the New Jersey Register on June 7 and can be viewed on the DOE’s Proposed Rules webpage.

Public testimony on the notice will be held on July 14. The public will also be able to send in written comments concerning the notice by Aug. 6 via the DOE’s website or by sending an email to chapter8@doe.nj.gov

The state board’s vote on the adoption of the proposed regulations is anticipated in the early fall, according to the press release.