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Ridgewood Professor: Lawmakers Headed In Right Direction With Testing Bill

Christopher Tienken has public school administration experience as a PK-12 assistant superintendent, middle school principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and elementary school assistant principal, his website says.
Christopher Tienken has public school administration experience as a PK-12 assistant superintendent, middle school principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and elementary school assistant principal, his website says. Photo Credit: YouTube

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Legislation that would eliminate standardized testing as a measuring stick for teacher evaluations recently cleared the General Assembly — but Ridgewood's Chris Tienken knows the bill has a long way to go.

Tienken, a Seton Hall University professor, had a Common Core study published in a superintendent's journal earlier this year

He says the recent move by lawmakers is a "step in the right direction," but still leaves some problems left to solve.

"High-stakes testing dampens teacher creativity and risk-taking, and narrows the curriculum to what is most likely to be tested," Tienken told Daily Voice.

The narrowed curriculum ends up creating an impoverished learning environment for students.

A student's grade-point average, Tienken said, reveals much more than standardized test results can.

A study by the College Board found that the PARCC cut scores in high school that correlate with college and career readiness are said to relate to a total SAT score of 1550 — the score that New Jersey chose to signify college and career readiness.

"Unfortunately, that score is not characteristic of the SAT score used by most colleges that accept SAT," Tienken said. "Only about 25 states use the SAT and over 1000 colleges don't require it or any testing."

Further, a 1550 on the SAT represents a score at the 99th percentile of all test-takers. It also happens to be the SAT score required by the top 10 public colleges in the country, he added.

"Personally, I don't think requiring students to score at the level of the top public universities in order to be deemed college ready is valid."

"There are 4400 other colleges in the country that the New Jersey officials could have chosen to set their scores by but they set them at the most competitive levels," Tienken said.

A group of New Jersey superintendents recently released THIS RESOLUTION against PARCC testing and other reform problems.

The resolution aims to identify concerns around public education around the PARCC so for all 21 superintendents' roundtables in New Jersey to consider.

CLICK HERE for more on Christopher Tienken.

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