Assemblyman Dave Rible (R-Monmouth) plans to introduce legislation “that will prohibit the administration of tests other than assessments currently mandated by the state and federal government.” In yesteryear, he notes wistfully, kids “were allowed, even encouraged, to be kids” and “join their friends outdoors for a bike ride, a game of stickball, or a walk in the park." Now, however, we are “forcing our children to grow up ahead of their time.“ Says Rible, “I have heard from several parents and educators, who are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of testing we are imposing on our school children. We need to ensure that we are not mandating so much testing that we are actually harming our students.”
As a result, I will be introducing legislation that will prohibit the administration of tests other than assessments currently mandated by the state and federal government. Regular curriculum exams that test a student’s knowledge of a subject he or she is studying will not be affected. The intent is not to prevent teachers from teaching and evaluating a student’s growth.
Rible explains that he is not aiming at state PARCC testing or national NAEP testing or local class tests. What's left? Internal school district-level assessments, like NWEA, that help school districts gauge student growth over shorter spans of time (as opposed to annually), help teachers gauge individual and classroom needs, and help administrators offer professional development to teachers who need more support.
In other words, Rible, because of the protests of “several parents and educators” and, probably, the zeitgeist against mandated standardized testing, is proposing a mandate against the use of one of the most useful and granular tools that assess teacher and students needs.
Everyone get out their broomsticks and balls!