At its December meeting, the State Board of Education took action and heard updates on the following items:
- Newark: Transition to Local Control—The district is currently in a two-year transition period back to full local control. The transition period ends January 2020, contingent upon successful achievement of various metrics in the transition plan. The plan documents the process, actions, and commitments required by the district and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) that allowed the state to withdraw from partial intervention in the areas of governance and instruction and program. Successful and sustainable implementation will return authority and oversight over the district in its entirety to the local board of education. The state previously withdrew from areas of operations, fiscal management, and personnel.
- Water Safety Instruction—The State Board voted to publish a proposal for comment on N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-5.15 and 11.10 which authorizes a third issuer of the Water Safety Instructor Certificate, required for anyone employed to coach or serving as coach for interscholastic swimming and/or diving programs in New Jersey public schools and for candidates seeking the swimming and water safety endorsement to the instructional certificate.The department proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-11.10, Swimming and water safety, to add the flotation aided swim training program as one of three acceptable issuers of the Water Safety Instructor Certificate.
- Educator Effectiveness – The State Board discussed a proposal to readopt the regulations concerning educator evaluation. These regulations which establish the system of evaluation for teachers, principals, assistant principals, vice principals, and other certificated staff, are scheduled to expire on March 4, 2020. The Department proposes two amendments: first, to update the standards to which all principal evaluation instruments must be aligned and, second, to change the date by which all evaluation rubrics must be submitted to the commissioner of education for approval to align the rules with current submission procedures.
- Lead Testing Regulations—The State Board discussed amendments pertaining to the testing for lead in drinking water. First, the proposal will require boards of education to test for lead every three years, rather than the current requirement of every six years. Second, the proposed rulemaking also will include increased enforcement measures against non-compliance. Lastly, the NJDOE proposes to enhance transparency by updating its webpage about testing for lead in school drinking water to include the following district-reported information: the date of the most recent lead testing, the latest statement of assurance, and a link to actual testing results.
- Perkins V Plan—The NJSBA testified before the State Board on the draft Perkins V plan. The Perkins V plan is a federal education program that invests in secondary and postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs in all 50 states and the territories. It is dedicated to increasing learner access to high-quality CTE programs of study with a focus on program improvement; alignment across K-12, postsecondary and workforce; and economic development. The NJSBA testified in support of the plan. Among its goals, the draft Perkins V plan seeks to provide local communities with a stronger voice in education policy decisions; increase access to STEM and computer science curricula; expand career readiness through the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network and career pathways; and expand access to community colleges for high school students. The NJSBA supports these goals of the draft plan because they will increase career awareness; create more collaboration among business, educational agencies and the community; and improve students’ access to the programs and skills needed for a diverse and well-qualified workforce. The NJDOE will be accepting comments on the draft plan until Dec. 31, 2019. Comments may be sent to: PerkinsV@doe.nj.gov.
- N.J. Student Learning Standards—The State Board discussed a resolution to update the Student Learning Standards. The revisions will ensure that all content area standards have a mission and vision; all content areas will contain an introduction with a section called “New Jersey Legislative Statutes” summary; and, knowledge and skills within a content area will be specified. The NJDOE is also recommending that the State Board adopt the National Core Arts standards with adaptations. Public hearings on the N.J. Student Learning Standards will be held as follows:
Warren County Technical School
1500 Route 57
Washington, NJ 07882
Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
New Jersey Department of Education
Judge Robert L. Carter Building
First Floor Conference Room
100 River View Plaza
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Camden County College
Room 105, Civic Hall
200 College Drive
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.