Officials See Room For Improvement In NJ Test Scores

TRENTON (CBS) – New Jersey education officials have released the results of annual standardized tests and they suggest there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure every student in the Garden State gets an equal opportunity to succeed.

It’s a mixed bag. Language arts scores are down from 2009 but still better than ‘08. Math scores are up a little in the lower grades and down in grades seven and eight. Graduation exam results remain flat, as they have for the last nine years.

Governor Chris Christie wants better, according to spokesman Kevin Roberts.

“The achievement gap that we’ve been talking about,” Roberts said. “Particularly between our more affluent school districts and the urban school districts still remains.”

Which demonstrates, according to Roberts, the need for Christie’s education reforms, particularly to improve the quality of teachers and to give parents more and better choices in where their children go to school.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

More from David Madden
  • Alan Cook

    National math test scores continue to be disappointing. This poor trend persists in spite of new texts, standardized tests with attached implied threats, or laptops in the class. At some point, maybe we should admit that math, as it is taught currently and in the recent past, seems irrelevant to a large percentage of grade school kids.

    Why blame a sixth grade student or teacher trapped by meaningless lessons? Teachers are frustrated. Students check out.

    The missing element is reality. Instead of insisting that students learn another sixteen formulae, we need to involve them in tangible life projects. And the task must be interesting.

    A Trip To The Number Yard is a math book focusing on the building of a bungalow. Odd numbered chapters cover the phases of the project: lot layout, foundation, framing, all the way through until the trim out. The even numbered chapters introduce the math needed for the next stage of building and/or reviews the previous lessons.

    This type of project-oriented math engages kids. It is fun. They have a reason to learn the math they may have ignored in the standard lecture format of a class room.

    If we really want kids to learn math and to have the lessons be valuable, we need to change the mode of teaching. Our kids can master the math that most adults need. We can’t continue to have class rooms full of math drudges. Instead, we need to change our teaching tactics with real life projects.

    Alan Cook

  • Guess Who

    They will never close the achievement gap until they close the IQ gap.

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