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Agenda: State Board of Education Will Address Changes in Code Pertaining to Training of New Teachers

Monthly meeting will include update on Camden schools-chief search, requiring minimum 3.0 GPA for teacher certification.

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 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 state board meeting should be a quick one this month, with few items on the agenda and fewer still likely to generate much public discussion. The board will continue to review code changes pertaining to adult education and teacher certification. Behind closed doors, it will get an update on the Christie administration’s search for a new Camden superintendent.

Code changes: In a year of sweeping changes to the state’s administrative code for schools, the board will only be reviewing a couple of them this month. The more contested one has been proposed code for what teachers need to become certified, including an increase in the GPA requirements for new teachers. The administration has proposed raising the minimum GPA to 3.0, the equivalent of a B average, from the current 2.75 requirement. There hasn’t been much pushback yet, but the administration is said to considering extending the effective date, having it go into effect for students starting in teacher-preparation programs after Sept. 1, 2015.

Behind closed doors: After much hoopla over Gov. Chris Christie’s announcement last March that the state will take over Camden schools, the administration has yet to appoint the person who will lead the district. The board is expected to get an update on the search in a closed session before Wednesday’s meeting. Board President Arcelio Aponte says he has yet to hear any names.

Certifying surprise: In what us usually a procedural matter, the board will have an interesting addition to its monthly list of districts just completing the state's monitoring process. The Paterson school district, under state operation since 1991, is expected to be approved under four of five categories. That is not full certification, and 24 other districts are expected receive the state’s monitoring imprimatur, but it is sure to add fuel to the ongoing debate -- and legal challenges -- over the state's operation of school districts.

Sad note:This will be the first meeting since the passing of Ilan Plawker, the board’s vice president, who died of lymphoma on July 11. Aponte said the board will adopt a formal resolution about Plawker at its next meeting in September, to which it has invited the Englewood resident’s family.

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