In contrast with his boss, New Jersey Education Commissioner David Hespe remains committed to the Common Core State Standards and their aligned assessments, PARCC. He did back off from his previous stance that schools with high opt-out rates could lose state funding but said, "you will lose aid, however, if you tell me to go fly a kite and you will not do anything with strategies to improve."
Sound familiar? Think Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, another erstwhile GOP presidential hopeful, and Schools Superintendent John White. Not as fiery, for sure, but still worth noting.
From NJ Spotlight:
Hespe gave no indication that the state was abandoning the PARCC test, saying that recent changes announced by the nine-state consortium to shorten the test would lead to overall improvements next year.
“In September 2016, it will lead to a much easier administration,” he said.
He also praised school districts for standing by the tests in the face of what he acknowledged was intense opposition. He specifically pointed to “attack ads” sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association, an open critic of the testing.
“There was $10 million in attack ads, and people were listening,” Hespe said. “Education politics is fierce and the last four months was brutal.”
“You should be proud of what you did,” Hespe told the superintendents and school board members in the room. “Not many would have stayed the course, and you did.