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Kathryn Forsyth, Director
For Release: April 10, 2007
New Jersey Joins Nine-State Partnership to Administer New Algebra II Exam
New Jersey has agreed to join a partnership of nine states in the American Diploma Project Secondary Math Partnership to administer a common exam with common standards for Algebra II students beginning in May 2008. The eight states joining New Jersey in the partnership are Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The project is an initiative of the ADP Network, a group of 29 states that educate more than 60 percent of all American public school students.
“This new exam will help to ensure that our children are learning the math skills that are becoming more and more essential in an increasingly competitive job and secondary education marketplace,” said Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy. “Our work in the American Diploma Project (ADP) Secondary Math Partnership complements our efforts in New Jersey to re-design our schools to meet the challenges of preparing our young people for the demands of the 21st century.”
The Algebra II exam complements current in-state efforts to move toward an end-of-course model for measuring high school performance. For example, between 60,000 and 70,000 New Jersey high school students who take biology next year will be required to take an end-of-course exam for that subject in the spring of 2008.
While participation in the multi-state Algebra II test is voluntary, the New Jersey Department of Education is strongly encouraging school leaders to participate in the ground-breaking exam. The department will be contacting schools in the near future with more information.
Algebra II is one of several “gatekeeper” courses in high school. Studies conducted by the United States Education Department indicate that the highest level of math taken in high school is the most powerful predictor of whether a student will ultimately earn a bachelors degree or secure a well-paying job.
The test is being developed and will be owned by Pearson Educational Measurement. It is based on standards developed by Achieve, Inc., as part of its work to create and support the ADP Network. Achieve is a bi-partisan, non-profit organization created by the nation’s governors and business leaders to help states raise academic standards, improve assessments and strengthen accountability to prepare all young people for postsecondary education, work and citizenship.