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.


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.

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.

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 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.

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.

State standardize test are never relevant to the job. Merit based promotions already exist. Merit "raises" for employee's that are in no range titles should be reinstated with strict guidelines that hold supervisors accountable and tied to e-pars. Generally speaking most offices do not have career paths for employee's. As a result many employee's move from agency to agency taking their knowledge elsewhere. There should be a focus on building solid career paths within offices.

Yes. Good idea. I have seen many cases where a professional is given the opportunity to work in a provisional title because of their merits, only to be demoted later on because "is not reachable" in the promotional list.

As stated in the individuals solution portion, a test would also be a part of the promotion factor. As such the test should be catered to the position that is being tested and not a vocabulary/grammar review.

While I support the idea, I am apprehensive that definition of merit would be relative and primarily dependent on the people evaluating, and thats when the assumption kicks in that evaluators are unbiased. However, frequently the evaluators cannot remain unbiased and intentionally or unwittingly their agenda or motive creates bias in selection. Standarized test removes the bias but tests have their own drawbacks. If meritbased is entertained, the evaluators should probably be complete strangers.

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?

This is an excellent program. I've been with the State for over 30 years and have held several jobs provisional and was never approved a supervisor's title. This is a huge problem. I have been asked to train supervisors several time but never received the merits I deserved. In one case I was demoted after being in the position for 10 years and successfully doing the job. But still was demoted. During this time my Supervisor never gave me a PAR/PERS (over 10 years).

This idea makes a lot of sense. Taking somebody out of their unit to go to another unit that they know nothing about just because they got a good score on a standardized test is inefficient.. I've seen trainees training the trainers because of this broken system..

Some employees are excellent and their job and deserving of promotion, but just don't perform well on standardized tests. All too often an employee that is at best mediocre will test well and get a promotion over other more deserving candidates. The state is rife with employees in positions that they don't deserve. At a minimum, more weight should be given to how well they do on e-PARS and optimally their should be a supervisor score/opinion considered. Should also make tests more relevant.

In response, merit would be based on a workers ability to complete the requirements for their position and have the ability to train others. This statement applied to positions which now base promotion on a standardized test only, The new procedure could include a standardized test, however, there should also be a merit element which would verify that all job expectations were met and that individuals should be weighted on their overall productivity when compared to others taking the test.

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

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.

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.

i believe the test erases doubt on how an individual is selected. although unfair to those who have "earned the job". i think the biggest change should be is eliminating the provisional appointment. everyone should be hired off a list and not be subject to be bumped out of a job.

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?

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.

Merit based system is ok if testing is used to validate eligibility. Education in the appropriate field is essential! I've been tested and ranked 1st many times, but never interviewed. The promotional system is a maze since you get varying and even conflicting guidance or interpretation from immediate mangers, HR and CSC on how to move up, even when you have the education, the merit and the rank! Mandatory rotational mentoring of new hires by managers might help promote equity and fairness.

Initially, 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. Additionally, your proposal would require an amendment to the NJ Constitution as Art. VII, Sec. 1 requires that promotions be based on merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination, which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive.

Merit? No thanks. too many factor would be at play there.

Thank you for your response. We need to be careful with including stipulations such as "ability to train others". Some things can be used to overextend a purpose, like forcing an employee to do more in a particular area so as to eliminate instead of proving merit. This is something that could help if used with good intent. My thought is it would need policy backing to protect interests especially for the elder, women, minorities, green card holders and the others that I missed. Thank you

There is currently merit factored into promotions. I'd advise you to speak with your HR or CSC contact for further details, specifically, "how are state promotional exams weighted". It's not entirely just the test results

Only standardized tests offer the greatest amount of fairness in promotion. All other elements are very hard to prove the employee has these qualities.

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.

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.

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).

In the Christie administration, we tried to do something like this at OIT (DOT tried also). It was called "job banding". The CWA union, of which I am a proud member, fought this program tooth-and-nail all the way to the NJ Supreme Court and got it shot down. I will be the first to team had a hand in developing banding. It was not perfect, but it was a step in the right direction. With some tweaks (and union buy-in rather than confrontation), this could and should be revisited.

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.

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.

Yes, favoritism is one of the main impediments which I addressed in the implementation plan. However, for there to be fairness to all seeking promotion, there has to be some type of move to 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.

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