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The State Board of Education welcomed three new members, selected a president, and took action on other items at its July 5 meeting. The board also approved a resolution allowing the Jersey City School District to return to local control. (See “NJSBA Applauds Jersey City’s Return to Full Local Control” in this week’s School Board Notes.)

Swearing In of Members Three new members were welcomed to the State Board. They are:

  • Kathy Goldenberg, a former Moorestown Board of Education president, and former member of the NJSBA Legislative Committee and its representative to the NJSIAA;
  • Sylvia Sylvia, a former Ocean Township (Monmouth County) Board of Education member; and
  • Mary Beth Berry, a former special education teacher.

The board also swore in current board members Arcelio Aponte and Jack Furnaro to their additional terms on the board. All board members serve for six-year terms.

The board also selected Aponte, a former State Board president, as its new president, and Andrew Mulvihill as vice president. The NJSBA looks forward to working with the new members and the new leadership of the State Board.

Appointments The State Board appointed Joan Krasinski as the superintendent of the Katzenbach School for the Deaf, and appointed Eileen Shafer as acting superintendent in Paterson

Charter Schools The State Board approved amendments to the regulations governing charter schools. The N.J. Department of Education (NJDOE) has made a number of changes to the regulations concerning charter schools, including changes to the charter school performance framework which is the accountability system for charter schools. The performance framework shall be shared with all charter schools and posted on NJDOE’s website. The academic component includes, but is not limited to, measures of: student growth; student achievement; high school graduation rate; leading indicators of school success, such as attendance; and state and federal accountability requirements. Measures of student growth, student achievement, graduation rate, and leading indicators are evaluated relative to: statewide results, primary sending district results, and results of similar schools. Additionally, each charter school will be responsible for unique mission-specific goals included in their charter agreement. The amendments also permit charter schools to seek commissioner approval to establish weighted lotteries that favor educationally disadvantaged students, including, but not limited to, students who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, migrant students, limited English proficient students, neglected or delinquent students, or homeless students, in an effort to better represent a cross-section of the community’s school-age population. Also, the amendments allow a secondary charter school student to participate in a sport at his or her school of residence, upon the agreement of both principals, if the charter school he or she attends does not offer the particular sport in which the full-time student wishes to participate, regardless of the number of sports programs offered at the charter school. The changes may be viewed online.

Regulatory Revisions The State Board also approved revisions to regulations governing how to file a legal complaint with the NJDOE and changes to the rules governing private adult career schools. The State Board also began discussion on regulations to implement P.L. 2015, c. 303, which established the State Seal of Biliteracy to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more foreign languages in addition to English. Pursuant to the authorizing statute, the State Seal of Biliteracy is intended to do the following: encourage students to study languages; certify attainment of biliteracy; provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills; provide universities with a method to recognize and award academic credit to applicants seeking admission; prepare students with 21st century skills; recognize and promote foreign language instruction in public schools; and strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community.