Grassroots parent groups that oppose the Common Core standards are blasting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for issuing an executive order Monday that creates a handpicked study commission to make recommendations by 2015 on the effectiveness of the assessments tied to the standards.
According to the executive order, the commission will be comprised of nine “appointees who have practical experience, knowledge, or expertise in the areas of education policy or administration and will serve without compensation.”
The study commission’s task is to “review the effectiveness of all K-12 student assessments administered in New Jersey” and to review and provide “appropriate recommendations about the effectiveness of the volume, frequency, and impact of student testing” throughout the state.
The executive order states that the commission will help to “ensure the effectiveness of the Core Curriculum Content Standards, including the Common Core State Standards, and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.”
A bill that would delay linking teacher evaluations to student performance on the Common Core-aligned tests passed the Democrat-led New Jersey Assembly in June. The bill would also create a 15-member task force to investigate the Common Core standards and the aligned assessments. The state Senate, however, never voted on the measure.
While in Nashville attending a meeting of the National Governors Association, Christie told the Associated Press (AP) he would be issuing the executive order, though he declined to give details at the time.
Christie explained to the AP that public skepticism about Common Core can be traced to a general distrust of the federal government.
Christie said that “given the lack of confidence they have in government in Washington and that type of centralization, [voters] want their governors” to figure out solutions that work for their states.
“Governor Christie, Senate President Steven Sweeney, and the NJEA have just nailed the coffin shut on the children, parents, and future generations of children in New Jersey,” Janice Lenox of Concerned Citizens of Southern New Jersey told Breitbart News after Christie issued the executive order. “A ‘Study Commission’ handpicked by the Governor to satisfy the teachers does nothing to help the parents and less than nothing to retain the educational freedom of our children.”