Bergen Advocates Against Standardized Testing During Pandemic

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Assemblyman Brian Bergen

MORRIS COUNTY — The state Education Department quietly sent a memo last week to school districts detailing its plans to require standardized tests this spring even while it could apply for a waiver from the Biden administration.

Assemblyman Brian Bergen says the state should think about the impact on students.

“There is a lot of agreement that the last thing students need is the stress of a standardized test,” said Bergen (R-Morris). “This school year has been extraordinarily difficult for children, parents, and teachers, and it shouldn’t become more difficult.”

Bergen has two school-age children and has seen first hand the challenges they are facing this year.

“The burden of this pandemic is falling squarely on the shoulders of our children,” continued Bergen. “We should be focused on getting them back to normalcy. That should include prioritizing teachers for vaccines and getting the school back to full-day in-person instruction. Standardized testing is an unnecessary distraction from the things that will work.”

The federal Education Department provided a waiver for testing last spring and has indicated that it will at least allow changes to states’ testing schedules.

“If New Jersey can apply for a waiver, Governor Murphy shouldn’t think twice about accepting it,” concluded Bergen.