Agenda: Board Addresses Status of Takeovers, Teacher Evaluations

Monthly meeting will include presentation on teacher goals, and votes on returning some controls to school districts in Paterson and Newark

state seal
Date: Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Time: 10 a.m.

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

What they are doing: After a break for a special meeting last month, the board is back on its regular schedule.

It will consider a host of administrative code changes and also hear some notable presentations and initiatives dealing with big policy issues.

Topping the list will be a presentation on how teachers are to be measured for student performance beyond just test results, and two resolutions that would cede some of the state’s controls in Newark and Paterson.

Student Growth Objectives: At the board’s request, assistant state commissioner Peter Shulman will give a presentation on one of the key — but often overlooked — measures being used in the state’s new teacher tenure and evaluation system.

Known as “student growth objectives,” or SGOs, the measures are individual goals set out by teachers and their supervisors for their students’ work in a given year, be it artistic accomplishment or behavior improvements. They are separate from the more controversial test score-driven measures known as “student growth percentiles,” or SGPs.

The SGOs will account for 15 percent of every teacher’s ratings, and Shulman will report on the progress made in setting and following those measures in the first year of the new system.

State control resolutions: The board will act on two separate resolutions that would cede some controls back to the local boards in the state-operated districts of Newark and Paterson.

In Newark, it will be fiscal controls, as ordered under a court agreement reached in 2012. In Paterson, it will be operational controls, mostly having to do with facilities. Both districts will remain under state control in the most important area — the right to appoint their district superintendents.

Special education board: The board will make its annual appointments to the state’s special-education advisory board. Up for appointment are:

  • Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Autism New Jersey
  • Susan Colacello, Special Olympics of NJ
  • Deborah Lynam, Parent Community Engagement at Learning Ally
  • Magaly Milton, MJM Consulting
  • Dr. Margaret O’Reilly, Bloomfield College
  • Leslie Rubenstein, Learning Disabilities Association of NJ
  • Fred Tchang, Advanced Opportunities
  • Lauren Agoratus, NJ Family Voices
  • Myriam Alizo, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network
  • Beth Kelly, Riverbank Charter School of Excellence
  • Melanie McGacken, Family Support Center of NJ
  • New standards hearings: Separate from the board meeting, the department will hold the first of three public hearings tomorrow on new curriculum standards — the Common Core State Standards, which have already been approved, as well as other new standards in science and other areas. The public hearing will be held at the same location from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    The other hearings will held on these dates at these locations:

  • June 11: Gloucester County Institute of Technology, Sewell
  • June 12: Somerset County Office, Somerville
  • Other public hearings: The board will hold its regularly scheduled public testimony on new code proposals, starting at 2 p.m. The topics for discussion are new code pertaining to homeless students and those in state facilities, as well as code pertaining to state board rule-making.