What problem does it solve? The ability to be promoted based on merit and not on standardized tests alone will allow positions to be filled by better qualified employees. What is your solution and who does it apply to? In addition to a standardized test which is applicable to that position, those applying for the position should be reviewed for other factors including: amount of work completed, skill, teamwork, and training ability. All elements should then be weighted to derive the test score. What is the anticipated impact? Those individuals whom may not score high on standardized tests for various reasons, will then have a better chance at promotion based on their excelling at the other weighted elements.


Since the tests for most titles exist, upon interview, agencies should be able to test candidates via a secure website. As long as a candidate passes the test, agencies should have the flexibility to document why they want to hire a particular person as opposed to other candidates who may have already tested higher. The waiting for tests and working provisionally is counterproductive when people are displaced with less appropriate staff.

Unfortunately too many of the people in position to evaluate folks for promotion are bullies and will only promote staffs that are loyal to them. It just can't work in our current environment.

AGREE! you should not promote based on a one day standardized test. This does not make a person promotable alone. There are so many other factors that need to be considered. Production of work, Team player, Education, ability to train/lead. I also believe the DCPP Civil Service test does not provide study classes or information geared to the job. Most of the time it is about a calendar and scheduling.

I feel this method is very fair to all concerned.

who decides who deserves the job or not? remember we have testing system for good reasons.

A few questions: what constitutes "merit" here? Can we get more detail on what kinds of State positions this type of standardized promotion policy currently applies to? What would the new procedure be?

On the surface this seems like a good idea. We had this in the past and favoritism played a major role instead of merit in who received a promotion. The testing system was put into place to stop such practice. I'm not sure this will work because people do have their bias ideals. How would these types of practices be stopped in a merit based system?

While true that there are those that promote based on favoritism, the current methodology of just using a test, isn't working either. There are those that score high on the standardized test, but can't complete there job requirements and have never or minimally trained at their lower title.

I agree with this idea. When someone is not a good test taker they could lose the position they work in efficiently. Then someone that is not qualified is put into the position and has to be trained. This lowers the work morale. I've witnessed quite a few employees leave the Division for this reason.

Thank you for your comment. After reading the article to which you referenced. It seems to state Appointments and promotions shall be made according to merit and fitness as far as practicable, by examination. However, merit and fitness cannot be ascertained through a knowledge based test. Therefore the article should be rewritten to say: Appointments and promotions shall be made according to merit and fitness as far as practicable, and by examination.

I agree partially with your statement in that the system is broken and that in some cases it would not make sense to bring in someone from another area who scored higher on that test but still needs to be trained for that unit. However, what if the person coming in is a better and more efficient worker than others who scored similarly high from the unit. shouldn't the goal be to get the right people in the right jobs so that the State of NJ be able to operate more efficiently.

Great idea! In some departments within the state you have 5-6 employees doing the job of what it would take 2-3 efficient, qualified, motivated individuals.

In regards to your comment on promotional examinations are not "standardized" tests, rather, they are developed for each title based on a job analysis of the position at issue and test the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform in the title. I have found that Taxation auditor tests, that I have personally taken throughout the last 19 years, did not include any specific job skills or knowledge needed to perform those job titles. That is why I referred to them as "standardized".

Too many employees never give their best due to the fact that no matter what one person's best and effort will be the same with the rest - no motivation to make more efficient. Agree that needs proper multiple performance evaluations from multiple personnel to diminish favoritism based scenario.

I support this idea. Data has shown that standardized testing is not indicative of intelligence level, many are simply not good test takers. Colleges across the nation are eliminating the SAT/ACT score as a basis for admission, the state should weigh this as well. I know many who are excellent employees, smart, do their job well but just fall apart when taking a test.

I would say the promotional system is definitely broken. This is seen best when someone scores the highest on a test, #1 but management picks #3. The standardize test often have nothing to do with the job the person is actually performing. A scoring system that took into account the PARS, perhaps a test and an interview from and outside HR source.

Gives employees that don't test well, the ability to get promoted based on their work performance and knowledge.

If a person really knows their job and does it well but does not score well on a standardized test (that has nothing to do with they job they do), they are in jeopardy of losing their job (I've seen it happen a number of times). It's never made sense to me and we have lost some really hardworking people for people who don't do anything (but were able to score high on a test).

Yes, that would be the rule of three. I addressed that in my implementation plan, thanks.

Promoting government employees based on their ability to perform a job over time, rather than how they do on a test on any one day, is an antiquated system that desperately needs reform. Government employees experience the typical painfully slow ascent up the corporate ladder and job performance and ability to accomplish tasks is not considered. A merit-based system that promotes staff in a timely manner allows for increased motivation for employees and improves outcomes for the State.

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