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6-10-12 Tenure and Evaluation bills on the move
Star Ledger - N.J. bill making evaluations key to teacher tenure may soon be introduced… ““I’ve wanted to focus on tenure reform since I came into office,” she said. “This month, I intend to post a bill that will be passed and a bill that will be signed.”

Star Ledger - N.J. bill making evaluations key to teacher tenure may soon be introduced…“I’ve wanted to focus on tenure reform since I came into office,” she said. “This month, I intend to post a bill that will be passed and a bill that will be signed.”

Published: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 8:00 AM

By Jessica Calefati/The Star-LedgerThe Star-Ledger

TRENTON — More than a year after state resa Ruiz began gathering evidence on how to overhaul the state’s century-old teacher tenure law, a bill that would link the job protection to regular evaluations may soon be fast-tracked in Trenton.

Ruiz (D-Essex) said during an editorial board meeting late last week that she has meetings scheduled Monday to hammer out the bill’s contents and expects to introduce an updated draft of the legislation as early as this week.

“I’ve wanted to focus on tenure reform since I came into office,” she said. “This month, I intend to post a bill that will be passed and a bill that will be signed.”

Gov. Chris Christie has made tenure reform one of his priorities and has publicly expressed his support for Ruiz’s efforts. The New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, has expressed concerns with parts of her plan.

Ruiz’s current bill would require all new teachers to complete a one-year mentorship under a veteran educator and then earn three consecutive years of good evaluations to earn tenure.

For the first time, two consecutive years of bad evaluations would strip a tenured teacher of the job protection.

Teachers who wish to appeal their loss of tenure would have 30 days to do so, and an administrative law judge would have an additional 30 days to render a decision, under the bill.

Many have criticized the state’s current tenure-revocation process for being too costly and too time-consuming.

“Tenure reform will boost respect for the profession,” Ruiz said.

“It will turn teaching into something that’s evaluated and tenure into something that’s honorable, not a job protection defined by time.”

She added that she struck a number of compromises with other legislators and stakeholder groups to prepare the version of the bill she says is forthcoming, but she would not give specifics because negotiations on parts of the measure are ongoing.

Assembly Education Committee Chairman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) introduced a tenure bill of his own last week.

Diegnan’s bill extends the time it takes to earn the protection from three years to four and requires disputes over revocation to be handled through binding arbitration.

 


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828