New Jersey State Assessments
Update, September 8, 2020:
Coming Soon: The Office of Assessments has developed assessment supports and guidance that can provide educators with an early indication of the level of support students may need to successfully engage with grade-level New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). All resources, additional information and related guidance will be available here in the coming weeks.
These supports will be available to all New Jersey school districts at no cost as an optional resource to be used for in-class feedback and support. Resources include the Start Strong snapshot assessments based on prior-year academic standards, which will be available in English language arts (ELA) grades 4-10, Mathematics grades 4-8, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II, and in Science grades 6, 9, and 12. Each Start Strong snapshot assessment should be administered in approximately 45-60 minutes. Additionally, the NJDOE is providing Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Instructionally Embedded (IE) assessments for students with the most significant intellectual disabilities who participate in the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment program, and the WIDA remote screener for English Language Learner (ELL) identification. All assessment resources will provide instantaneous results.
The snapshot assessments are brief to maximize instructional time and quickly put data in the hands of teachers and school leaders. The design of these assessments provides schools and districts the flexibility to access these tools when needed and makes critical room for schools to address their community’s unique needs at the beginning of the school year. Because these tools are so different than New Jersey’s traditional state assessments, extensive guidance regarding the appropriate use of these resources will be provided to ensure understanding of the following key points:
- The Start Strong assessments will provide immediate results.
- These assessments are available in English, Spanish, and Text to Speech (TTS).
- These assessments produce classroom-level information as a standards-based complement to the resources used locally to evaluate the needs of students. They provide an initial indication of some conceptual or skill gaps that might exist in a student’s understanding of the NJSLS and the level of support students may need to inform instruction.
- The reports provided by these assessments are only one piece of the puzzle used to holistically understand a student’s academic performance. They should only be used with other supporting evidence (assignments, homework, etc.) when drawing conclusions about a student’s overall academic performance without these assessments.
- The assessments are designed to be administered flexibly (remotely, in-person, etc.) to accommodate the wide variation in school reopening plans.
Statewide Assessment Program
The assessment supports provided for the fall of 2020 are not replacements for New Jersey’s statewide summative assessment program, which includes the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA), the DLM assessments, the ACCESS for ELLs assessments, and the related federal and state reporting and accountability requirements. As New Jersey prepares for an unprecedented start to the 2020-2021 school year, the NJDOE will continue to closely monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the school year and will evaluate administration and policy decisions regarding state assessments as accordingly.