We have four guiding stars in the JerseyCAN Vision Guide: excellence, equity, options and innovation. What are these guiding stars, and why are they important? What is JerseyCAN doing to implement these values in our state, and how have we been successful?

When it comes to education, New Jersey has a lot to be proud of. We have some of the highest graduation rates in the county, and those rates continue to rise. Students perform at some of the highest national achievement levels, and we have some very impressive schools. With these encouraging statistics in mind, excellence is another JerseyCAN Guiding Star in our Vision Guide, and we are committed to maintaining a high academic bar for the sake of our kids and their future success.

This commitment to excellence has become a particularly important conversation in the last several weeks with the recent Appellate Court decision regarding New Jersey’s graduation assessment system.  To maintain New Jersey’s high graduation requirement, JerseyCAN testified in support of S3381 last week before the Senate Budget Committee.  S3381 would bring our graduation law into compliance with our current graduation requirements and would allow high schoolers in the classes of 2019 and 2020 to graduate if they met the requirements of the regulations invalidated by the Court.  S3381 was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee by a 10-0 vote.

As we, along with Better Education for Kids (B4K), argued in a recent op-ed:

“Over the past several years, New Jersey has been a leader in continuing to raise the academic bar for its K-12 students. A diploma from the state of New Jersey should represent mastery of rigorous college and career ready content providing a solid academic foundation for success in post-secondary life. Twenty-two of our sister states require high school students to take an assessment in order to graduate.”


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