At its October meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and acted on the following items:
- Resolution in honor of National Principals Month in the State of New Jersey — The board passed a resolution recognizing October as National Principals Month. The state board recognized principals for their tireless efforts to “establish the academic tone, missions, and visions for their schools, collaborate with teachers to implement and maintain rigorous curricula, and set ambitious performance goals.”
- Bilingual education — The board began discussions on updates to the regulations concerning bilingual education. Specifically, the board discussed amending the process for identifying an eligible English language learner to ensure districts use a “multi-step process” at the time of enrollment, which includes administering the statewide home-language survey instead of a district-selected screener, conducting a records review and other changes. The amendments are designed to align with federal requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The proposed amendments will codify the ESSA 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 programs for English language learners. The proposed amendments also will align the requirements for state assessment of growth in English proficiency with the ESSA.