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Agenda: What’s Next for NJ with Federal Every Student Succeeds Act?

State Board of Education members will also hear from leaders of anti-bullying task force

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What they are doing: The State Board of Education’s monthly meeting today will focus on the implications for New Jersey of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the successor to No Child Left Behind. The board will also hear a presentation from members of the state’s anti-bullying task force regarding its final report issued last month, with dozens of recommendations.

ESSA shifts focus: With the enactment of the new law, the federal government significantly shifted its role in overseeing schools away from the famous -- and some would say infamous -- strictures of the No Child Left Behind Act. Requirements to meet targets of “adequate yearly progress” and punitive labels on schools are over, at least for most schools, but the law still includes an array of requirements for states to maintain an accountability system, including annual testing.

No state rules yet: A great deal hinges on the specifics that will be outlined in the federal regulations, but the Christie administration has begin talking about what the state’s system will look like under the new law. Speaking before the board will be deputy commissioner Peter Shulman.

Anti-bullying: Leaders of a state task force that was created to monitor the landmark new law will speak to the board about its recently completed final report on the law, and its recommendations for improving it. These have ranged from new regulations on how to define an accusation of bullying to revised procedures on how to handle them.

No new regs yet: While the task force recommended a series of regulatory changes, and even portended quick action, no proposal for revisions is before the State Board.

Other matters: The state board will also take up a series of more routine regulatory matters, including votes on the renewal of code about school equity and new ethics commission procedures. Both new codes are largely repeats of current code to keep them in place before they expire, although board leaders said there will be a deeper reviews of both in the coming months.

Public comment: There is no scheduled public testimony.

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