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[Susan notes: Good for Lisa, answering fraud with facts.]

Published in New Jersey Star Ledger
06/30/2004

To the editor



New Jersey Education Commissioner William Librera would do well to examine Massachusetts' record more closely before attempting to emulate its experience with high-stakes testing. ("High school test failure rate targeted," June 17) The Massachusetts Education Department claims a 96

percent pass rate for high school students, but that figure ignores the 23 percent of students lost from the class of 2004 between ninth grade

and senior year. That means a loss of more than 18,000 students.



Contrary to state claims of progress in closing the race-based achievement gap, when all students are accounted for, the gap between whites and blacks who pass our state test has more than doubled from 2002 (when it did not count for graduation) to 2004 (when it did), from 8.3 percentage points to 20.7.



New Jersey should retain its useful alternative assessment system while working to ensure that all students have the support to succeed with a

high-quality curriculum.

Lisa Guisbond


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