At its June meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and acted on the following items:
- Resolution in Honor of the 2021-2022 State Board Permanent Student Representative, Maura Baker — The board approved a resolution honoring Maura Baker as she ended her term as its 2021-2022 student representative. The West Orange High School 11th grade student was honored with the resolution, noting that she raised the voice of students by offering meaningful insights on the perspective of students. The board noted her address to school board members at Workshop 2021 as one of her many accomplishments during her tenure.
- Report of State Board Nominating Committee — Kathy Goldenberg was recommended by the committee to be president and Andrew Mulvihill as vice president for 2022-2023. If elected at the board’s July meeting, this will be the fourth term for both in their respective positions.
- Saul Cooperman, Former Commissioner of Education — Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting commissioner of education, noted the recent death of Cooperman at the age of 87. Serving from 1982-1990 as commissioner of education, Cooperman began his career as a history teacher and served as superintendent in Montgomery Township and Madison Borough. He is noted for creating the alternate certification route for teachers and implementing the state’s first monitoring system for school districts.
- School District Operations — The State Board of Education adoptedamended regulations concerning various operations, including the interaction between student records and the Open Public Records Act; updates to the regulations concerning student attendance and accounting, including clarification of days in session, days in membership, state excused absences and virtual or remote instruction.
- Teacher Certification Pilot Program — The State Board of Education adoptednew regulations pertaining to a five-year pilot program for issuance of a limited certificate of eligibility and a limited certificate of eligibility with advanced standing in an instructional area for candidates. The intent of the pilot program is to increase the supply of teachers by exempting teacher candidates from certain certification requirements while maintaining teacher quality.
- Bilingual Education – The proposedamendments will codify the federal Every Student Succeeds Act requirement to standardize the use of multiple criteria to identify English language learners and the use of statewide entry and exit criteria used by all local education agencies in New Jersey for language instruction educational programs for ELLs. The proposed amendments also will align the requirements for state assessment of growth in English proficiency with the ESSA.
- School Ethics – The proposed readoption with amendments and new rules seeks to ensure and preserve confidence in the integrity of elected and appointed members of a district board of education, members of a board of trustees of a charter school or renaissance school project and school administrators. One of the proposed changes includes a shortening of the time that newly elected/appointed board members have to complete training from one year down to 60 days. NJSBA successfully advocated to have the training window expanded to 90 days to give all newly elected and appointed board members adequate time to meet the requirement while ensuring that all board members are trained in a timely manner. NJSBA also successfully advocated for districts to include a link to the completed ethics disclosure forms on the New Jersey Department of Education website, rather than having to house the forms on the local district website.