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7-18-12 Education Issues in the News
NJ Spotlight - NJ Adds School Districts to Test New Teacher, Principal Evaluations…Pilots are seen as critical test of new tenure standards still unsigned by Gov. Christie

NJ Spotlight - The 'Other' Online Charters Get Ready for New School Year in NJ…Two charters that blend virtual teaching with traditional classroom education have been approved by state DOE

NJ Spotlight - NJ Adds School Districts to Test New Teacher, Principal Evaluations…Pilots are seen as critical test of new tenure standards still unsigned by Gov. Christie

NJ Spotlight - The 'Other' Online Charters Get Ready for New School Year in NJ…Two charters that blend virtual teaching with traditional classroom education have been approved by state DOE

 

 

NJ Spotlight - NJ Adds School Districts to Test New Teacher, Principal Evaluations…Pilots are seen as critical test of new tenure standards still unsigned by Gov. Christie

By John Mooney, July 18, 2012 in Education

As a new tenure reform bill awaits Gov. Chris Christie’s signature, his administration is moving ahead slowly with the system that could provide the centerpiece of the reforms: a new teacher evaluation system.

A few weeks later than expected, the state Department of Education yesterday announced another 10 mostly suburban districts would be participating in the pilot of a new teacher evaluation system this coming fall.

 

The state also had hoped to add an additional 10 districts from the pool of communities with high concentrations of poverty, but decided to reopen the grant process when the first round failed to come up with enough qualified districts, officials said.

 

Still, the addition of 10 new districts could nearly double the size of the pilot for next year. In addition, the state announced 14 more districts would take part in a pilot of a new principal evaluation system, several of which were conducting the teacher pilot this past year.

 

The 10 new districts announced yesterday will split $1 million in funds for training of staff and development of the evaluation system. The existing 11 districts, if they choose to continue, will split an additional $200,000.

 

Another 21 districts that had applied to participate next year will be offered to still take part, but without any additional money being offered.

 

The pilot is seen as a critical test of a teacher and principal evaluation program that will standardize how educators are evaluated in the state, with those evaluations central to how and whether they will receive and retain full tenure rights.

 

Under the bill passed unanimously by the Legislature this spring, educators will need three years of positive evaluations to receive tenure and could be brought up on tenure charges after two negative ones. Christie has said he will sign the bill but has yet to do so.

 

How those evaluations are carried out and by whom is what the state wants to test through the pilot, with 11 districts in the first year drawn from small rural ones like Alexandria to large urban ones such Newark and Elizabeth.

 

The 10 new districts added for next year’s teacher evaluation pilot are:

 •Bordentown Regional, Burlington

 •Collingswood (in conjunction with Audubon and Merchantville), Burlington

 •Cranford, Union

 •Haddonfield, Camden

 •Lenape Valley Regional, Sussex

 •Middlesex County Vocational, Middlesex

 •Piscataway, Middlesex

 •Rockaway, Morris

 •Teaneck, Bergen

 •Woodbury City, Gloucester

 

The 14 districts taking part in the principal evaluation pilot are:

 •Alexandria, Hunterdon

 •Bergenfield, Bergen

 •Edison, Middlesex

 •Elizabeth, Union

 •Lawrence Township, Mercer

 •Monmouth County Vocational, Monmouth

 •Morris, Morris

 •Newark, Essex

 •North Brunswick, Middlesex

 •Paterson, Passaic

 •Pemberton, Burlington

 •Rockaway, Morris

 •Spotswood, Middlesex

•Stafford, Ocean

 

NJ Spotlight - The 'Other' Online Charters Get Ready for New School Year in NJ…Two charters that blend virtual teaching with traditional classroom education have been approved by state DOE

By John Mooney, July 18, 2012 in Education|1 Comment

They are the online charter schools that haven’t gotten much attention in New Jersey, the ones that will blend online tools with in-person teaching.

Related Links

Merit Prep Approval

Spirit Prep Denial

That lack of attention is likely to change soon, however.

Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf on Monday cleared the way for two of the so-called hybrid or blended charter schools to open out of Newark next month, offering students a full-day experience in the classroom, along with a heavy dose of online learning.

It’s a big distinction from the all-online programs that generated so much debate in the past month, where students would be taking classes out of their homes. The state on Monday postponed the opening of two such virtual schools for at least a year.


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