Business and political leaders treat as immutable fact the claim that New Jersey’s educational system gives the state an advantage in economic development and competition with other states. Schools here, the argument goes, help create a highly educated workforce with the skills necessary to succeed in a global, technologically advanced economy.
Recently, though, JerseyCAN – an education research and advocacy organization – published findings that could call that assertion into question. A report the group issued in August found that reading scores are falling around the state. “New Jersey was unable to withstand the pandemic’s assault on education, and was among 30 states whose fourth-grade reading scores declined on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), also dubbed ‘the nation’s report card,'” the study found. “Reading outcomes on state-based assessments paint an equally dismal picture, many plummeting to a level lower than pre-pandemic levels.”
In this edition of NJBIZ Conversations, JerseyCAN Executive Director Paula White discusses the report, its implications for businesses and strategies to remedy the situation.