The NJ Spotlight Roundtable Series: NJ’s High School Diploma Under Debate

A high school diploma is supposed to ensure that a graduate is ready for college or a job, but debate persists over whether New Jersey public schools are delivering on that promise for all their students. The Christie administration has proposed new requirements and testing for high schools that it says will help raise the bar. At this NJ Spotlight Roundtable: NJ’s High School Diploma Under Debate, we explored these issues with state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf and a panel of public education, college, and business leaders.

John Mooney, Cofounder and Education Writer, NJ Spotlight

Panelists include:
Chris Cerf, Commissioner of Education, New Jersey; Peter Renwick, Principal, Westfield High School; Gemar Mills, Principal, Malcolm X Shabazz High School, Newark; Jeffrey Scheininger, President, FlexLine/US Brass & Copper Corp., Board Chair, NJ Chamber of Commerce; Stanley Karp, Program Director, Education Law Center; Lisa Angeloni, Vice President, Enrollment Management, The College of New Jersey

Chapter 1: Introductions and Opening Remarks
What do we want our public high schools and schools in general to do to prepare our children for college and careers — as well as for successful and fruitful lives in general? The Christie administration wants to remake graduation requirements in New Jersey — the ones that were articulated in a task force released this year. Basically the goal is to move from one end-of-year test given in the 11th grade to end-of-course tests administrated annually.

Chapter 2: Panel Discussion
What do businesses look for in recent graduates — honors classes or basic competence? How much weight will a job applicants’ high school record be assigned when he or see is being evaluated for a job?

Chapter 3: Audience Q&A
How will the national standards assessments that are part of the Common Core State Standards be deployed in New Jersey? Will the tests be given online, as planned, and how often will they be administered statewide? Will they be required for graduation? Have cutoff points been assigned yet?


DVDs and digital downloads of this NJ Spotlight Roundtable can be purchased here.