The cover story of this issue of School Leader magazine looks at the final report of the Task Force on Educational Opportunities for the Non-College-Bound Learner. It begins on page 28.

The report is a comprehensive review of programming for the non-college-bound student and makes 69 recommendations for consideration by New Jersey’s boards of education and school administrators, the labor and workforce community, the New Jersey Department of Education, the Legislature, the governor, and NJSBA.

This is an issue of critical importance.

Over the years, there have been many reasons given for the decline of career-readiness programming, including budget cuts, facility issues, and the difficulty of finding certified teachers in these subject areas. Regardless of the reasons, we are losing a generation of young people who are not ready for the world of work.  We must provide students who are not headed to college with programs that will prepare them for an evolving job market.

The report reflects seven months of work by the 20-member Task Force, nine NJSBA staff members, and additional research, writing and editing by our consultant and staff.  I wish to convey my deepest thanks to all of them, particularly the chairman of the task force, NJSBA Immediate Past President Don Webster, Jr.

This year, I am scheduled to attend a meeting for each of our 21 county school boards associations. The focus of my remarks will be the task force report, and I am looking forward to lively discussions with our membership on the topic.

Officer Elections NJSBA is also in the process of planning for the upcoming election of new Association officers next May. I have asked Don Webster to chair the committee, and as usual, he has accepted. Thanks again to Don.

The elections will take place at the May 18, 2019 Delegate Assembly. However, there are several interim steps in the process. During September, the NJSBA Board of Directors and County Association Leadership each selected four members to serve on the nominating committee. In November, with the advice and consent of the NJSBA Board of Directors, I will select four additional committee members. On Nov. 20, applications for NJSBA officer positions will be made available and placed on the website; they are due Dec. 21. On Feb. 8, candidates will be interviewed by the Nominating Committee. Shortly thereafter, the Nominating Committee’s recommendations will be made public.

One of the most rewarding positions that I have experienced during  my career in education has been serving as an NJSBA officer. It is challenging and provides an opportunity to work with folks from every corner of New Jersey’s educational community. I would highly recommend that members consider running for a position as an officer; it will enable you to make a significant contribution to the education of our students.