At its November meeting, the State Board of Education heard a presentation on the draft state plan for career and technical education (CTE) that is required by federal law.

The “Perkins V” plan has four main goals: Quality programs; work-based learning; career advisement and development; and CTE teacher recruitment and retention, according to officials from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) who presented the plan.

Public comment on the plan will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2019.  Comments may be sent to or during one of three live in-person comment sessions:

  • Dec. 2, 2019 – Perkins V overview and public comment session at the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center at Stockton University in Galloway, Atlantic County.
  • Dec. 4, 2019 – Public testimony session at the N.J. State Board of Education meeting in Trenton.
  • Dec. 6, 2019 – Perkins V overview and public comment session at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst, Bergen County.

For further details, please contact the Office of Career Readiness in the NJDOE at (609) 376-9067.

In related news, the State Board also approved amendments to regulations to provide greater flexibility for those who wish to teach career and technical education. The amendments are intended to address CTE teacher shortages in in-demand industries and occupations, which affect approved CTE programs of study in comprehensive high schools, charter high schools, and county vocational school districts. The NJSBA supported the amendments. NJSBA’s 2018 study on Educational Opportunities for the Non-College Bound Learner called for changes in state education policy to increase the pool of CTE teachers.

State Special Education Advisory Council Required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and state law, this council provides policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the state. The State Board of Education appointed Debora Esposito and Barbara Gantwerk to the council.

Water Safety Instruction The state board discussed changes to the certification requirements for Water Safety Instructors. The changes will provide a third option for the issuer of the water safety instructor certificate that swimming and water safety job candidates are required to hold. Specifically, 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.

NAEP  Staff of the NJDOE reviewed with the State Board the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress which is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). NAEP is given to a representative sample of students across the country. Results are reported for groups of students with similar characteristics (e.g., gender, race and ethnicity, school location), not individual students.  New Jersey’s results for 2019 indicate that the percentage of students performing at or above proficiency is not “statistically different” from the 2017 results, the last time the test was administered.