Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Jersey Education Is Number One

In 2010, New Jersey's 4th and 8th grade school children ranked first in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

According to the College Board, New Jersey's students and teachers can add another accolade for 2010: The best Advanced Placement scores in the nation.

It's an odd headline. You'd think that the state would be crowing about this undeniable success from New Jersey's high schools, but that's not the case. The claim comes from the New Jersey Education Association and the Star-Ledger has subjected it to its PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter. In, short, here are the findings:

The NJEA claims the state’s public school students have the best Advanced Placement test scores in the country.

PolitiFact New Jersey compared the average AP test scores for students across the nation and found New Jersey’s public school students rank first.

A spokeswoman for the College Board said her organization doesn’t compile rankings -- and doesn’t encourage others to do so -- but confirmed the union's statement was accurate.

Governor Christie, and his administration, believes that good news about New Jersey's schools is inconvenient because it undercuts his assertion, which is blatantly untrue, that both the public education system and teachers are failing. I've taught an AP class for the past 10 years and I know how hard my students and I work. And it pays off. My school ranked first in the county in AP scores for a number of years.

But that doesn't stop the Governor from ignoring the great things New Jersey's teachers do. Here's a different article that ran after the NAEP scores were released: 

It's no wonder that Bret Schundler is no longer New Jersey's Commissioner of Education. I was at a conference with Schundler and 250 other educators on the day these scores were announced. When he tried to defend his remarks, the audience actually laughed at him. It was not pretty.

If Christie and his faux reform program won't say it, I will:

Hats off to New Jersey's teachers. You're doing the best job in the country.

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