Teacher-Evaluation Ratings Released for Schools Around the State

John Mooney | July 16, 2015 | Education
But results are for 2013-14 and are incomplete for many districts, as much information was redacted due to privacy provisions

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Three years after New Jersey’s tenure-reform law was signed, the Christie administration has publicly released the first results of the new teacher-evaluation system, district by district, school by school.

The state Department of Education yesterday released data for every school on the number of teachers falling into each category – they were ranked from “ineffective” to “highly effective” — of the new system for 2013-14.

There were limits to the information the state released, starting with the fact the numbers are a year old and information is not yet available for the school year that just ended.

There was also extensive redaction of data, as the state did not release the numbers where the rankings applied to 10 or less teachers – leaving a vast majority of schools without full disclosure. The state claimed the privacy and confidentiality rules under the new law required suppression of such information.

Nonetheless, the data provided some context to statewide breakdowns, released last month, showing that 97 percent of teachers were rated “effective” or “highly effective.”

For one thing, there were clear disparities when it came to schools that were found to be lower-performing, including schools in the state’s biggest cities.

For example, 94 Newark teachers – by far the highest number in the state — were rated as “ineffective” in 2013-14, a year marked by a controversial crackdown on under-performing teachers under former schools Superintendent Cami Anderson.

Those Newark teachers accounted for almost half of all teachers rated “ineffective” statewide. Another 314 Newark teachers were also rated to be “partially ineffective,” out of a total of 2,775 teachers in the district.

The next highest totals were for 20 teachers rated “ineffective” in Paterson, and 11 deemed “ineffective” in Camden.

[related]Conversely, the list of schools with the highest numbers of teachers rated at the top mark of “highly effective” was interesting in itself.

Schools in Linden in Union County saw 97 teachers with the highest rating, the top number in the state and amounting to almost one-fifth of the district’s teachers overall.

And schools in Readington Township in Hunterdon County saw 97 teachers rated “highly effective,” more than half of that district’s teaching corps, while Upper Township in Cape May County saw 97 out of 111 teachers earning the highest marks.