New Jersey remains among 11 states that still traditionally require passage of a high-school standardized test for graduation — but the rule has been preempted by the pandemic for two graduating classes in a row.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced an executive order that waives the graduation proficiency test requirement for 12th grade students in the Class of 2021 who still meet all other graduation requirements.

The continued requirement of a standardized test of graduating seniors already has been a contentious issue among educators and advocates in recent years.

As of Monday, 337 school districts were providing all-remote instruction, 351 school districts were providing hybrid instruction, 79 school districts were providing full in-person instruction and 44 districts were providing a combination of in-person and remote instruction across its schools.

Last spring, Murphy signed a separate executive order that waived the graduation assessment requirement for graduates in the Class of 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 on instruction.

Murphy's latest education directive also removed Student Growth Objectives as a required part of formal educator evaluations for the current school year, while also extending the time in which certificated teachers can serve as substitutes during the ongoing public health emergency.

There has been a staffing shortage for numerous school districts due to novel coronavirus, amid requirements of quarantine and necessary isolation amid confirmed and likely cases based on test results.

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