TRENTON - New Jersey's acting education commissioner testified before the state Senate Budget Committee Thursday in a rare public appearance.

Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe replaced former commissioner Chris Cerf and is a former member of the Whitman administration.

He has also worked at the college level, where he says he's seen the danger of not preparing high school-aged students for the next level.

"That first day of class, they enter a college classroom highly motivated, but then find they're unprepared to succeed," says Hespe. "They're unprepared for the rigors and demands of college-level work."

Hespe must still be confirmed by the state Senate.