Agenda: Career-Tech Education Gets Special Board Meeting

John Mooney | June 1, 2016 | Education
More talk to come on teacher evaluation and graduation requirements, but no charter regulations yet

state seal
Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Time: 9 a.m.

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

State Board’s other role: By statute, the state Board of Education also serves as the state Board of Career and Technical Education, and the latter will hold a special meeting starting at 9 a.m. this morning to hear the current status of that education sector. Included will be presentations from both business and education leaders.

Back to other business: Starting at 11 a.m., the state Board will be back to its usual agenda and covering some old ground. The board holds more discussion and its first public testimony on new teacher evaluation rules, and also takes more testimony on the controversial graduation requirements that would mean passing the state’s new PARCC tests.

Nothing on charters yet: Gov. Chris Christie last week announced a slew of regulatory proposals for easing the way for charter schools in the state, including loosening requirements for teacher certification and for expanding facilities. Still light on details, the proposals are apparently still in the works, though, as none are on the board’s agenda for today. Nonetheless, Christie will be taking up the topic at a noontime event at the nearby Village Charter School in Trenton, so more to come.

Teacher evaluation: Debate has been tame so far over the first refinements to the state’s new teacher evaluation requirements, part of the 2012 overhaul of the state’s tenure laws. Among the most significant proposals is a loosening of the rules that one of the supervisor’s classroom observation be at least 40 minutes, allowing for shorter 20-minute sessions. But questions have been raised as to the effectiveness of the shorter watch — including from state Board members — and the topic is sure to come up in public testimony planned for the afternoon. The proposals are also up for second discussion of the board.

Graduation tests: More testimony is also sure to come on proposed new graduation requirements that would include passing the PARCC’s Algebra I and Language Arts 10 tests. The requirement would start with the Class of 2021, today’s seventh graders. Giving it preliminary approval already, the state Board has yet to give any indication it will not give final approval later this summer.

Special-Ed advisory council: Not a big item on the agenda, but of interest to special-education advocates are the new appointments and reappointments of the state’s Special Education Advisory Council. In today’s action, the state board will consider two new appointees — one a Dumont educator and another from New Jersey City University — and eight reappointments.