On May 28, NJSBA issued a statement on Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to develop standards to replace the Common Core State Standards.

During an address at Burlington County College in Pemberton Township, the governor announced that he has directed the commissioner of education to conduct a study of the standards that would involve groups of parents, teachers, administrators and school board members. A final proposal would be issued in December 2015, Gov. Christie said.

Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director, made the following comments in response to the governor’s directive:

“The New Jersey School Boards Association supported adoption of the Common Core State Standards in 2010. We believe strongly that they are a positive development for public education in our state.

“We view Governor Christie’s directive as an opportunity to build upon an already strong set of standards. A matter as important as our state’s academic standards is worthy of reflection and review. Standards represent what we want all of our students to know by the time they graduate high school; that means being ready to succeed in higher education and employment.

“New Jersey has a long tradition of standards-based education, dating back to the 1990s. We know that strong standards can play a critical role in addressing the socio-economic achievement gap and the lack of readiness for higher education found among some students.”

For the past year, an NJSBA task force has been studying the achievement gap, with the goal of identifying strategies to advance the academic performance of all students, Feinsod pointed out.

In 2010, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the current state academic standards, including the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and language arts. The Common Core State Standards were fully implemented in New Jersey schools in 2013-2014.