Agenda: Camden’s State-Operated Schools Top Board’s Final Meeting of 2015

John Mooney | December 1, 2015 | Education
State Board of Education will also get updates on PARCC and review of Common Core standards

state seal
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

Time: 10 a.m.

Where: New Jersey Department of Education, 1st-floor conference room, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton
What’s on tap: The State Board of Education will close 2015 with a relatively light agenda, at least compared to the last few meetings.

The highlight will be the annual report of the state operation of Camden’s schools, now in its third year.

In what has become a staple, the board will also hear the latest on the new PARCC testing and the rollout of the state’s first results, as well as the ongoing review of the Common Core State Standards.

Camden’s annual report: The state’s four state-operated districts each make annual reports to the State Board, in what are typically pretty self-congratulatory presentations. Now it’s Camden’s turn, with Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard expected to make the presentation and take questions from the board. What may prove interesting is that it will be the first such presentation by any of the state-operated districts since the inaugural PARCC scores were released to districts, with Camden’s results among those that are being most closely watched.

PARCC and Common Core updates: Updates on the new testing, along with the ongoing review of the Common Core standards that serve as the tests’ benchmarks, have become regular items in the State Board’s monthly meetings.

The PARCC update is always closely followed, given the controversy around the testing and continuing developments regarding the release of its scores. In contrast, the Common Core standards review has so far been a quieter matter, although it could soon prove consequential — Gov. Chris Christie, when he disavowed the Common Core State Standards last summer, placed considerable emphasis on the fact that the use of those standards would be reviewed and set a January 1 deadline for completing that review.

Name change: In other business, the board will take up an application by the Middlesex County Education Services Commission to become the “Middlesex Regional” commission. One of the oldest and largest of the special-needs districts, the Middlesex commission has grown to serve students from 75 communities in more than a half-dozen different school districts.

Public testimony: No public testimony is scheduled.