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Agenda: State Board of Education

Back to deregulation for the panel, as new codes are introduced pertaining to special education, facilities and standards.

Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Time: 10 a.m.

Place: New Jersey Department of Education, 1st floor conference room, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton

What they are doing: The board has one of its lengthier agendas in some time, with more than a half-dozen pieces of code up for consideration or vote.

Most notable are the next five installments of changes being proposed in Gov. Chris Christie’s Education Transformation Task Force Report, which aims to cut some of the red tape for school districts. And these are not small changes, including one pertaining to special education, and another dealing with standards and assessments. The other areas being addressed are student residency, facilities, and support services.

“It’s a lengthy agenda because of all that code, so we will have a lot of work to do,” said Arcelio Aponte, the board’s president.

Teacher effectiveness Part I: The board will also be giving preliminary or final adoption to other pieces of significant code, including the latest version of guidelines for the required teacher evaluation systems that are being decided on now.

Teacher evaluation Part II: While that code has been largely procedural, the real debate will likely come at the board’s meeting in March with the introduction of guidelines for how the state’s new tenure law is to be implemented next year, including the use of test scores as part of the teacher ratings.

New report cards coming: The Christie administration is also close to launching the first significant changes in school report cards in at least a decade. The new School Performance Reports – complete with new gauges and comparisons of student progress -- are to come out in the next month, and state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf will give the board an update on that project on Wednesday.

Holidays decided: It’s an annual ritual for the board, giving formal approval to the various religious holidays on which students are allowed excused absences. There are more than 120 on the list this year.

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