Resolution calls for one-year wait before full implementation of new law’s requirements
By John Mooney

Concerns about the upcoming launch of a new teacher evaluation system in New Jersey have caught the attention of some high-ranking legislators, with two Assembly leaders offering up a resolution to delay some key pieces of the new requirements.

State Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex) and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex), both Assembly sponsors of the new tenure law that brought the new rules, are asking the state to extend the current pilot program and postpone full implementation.

School districts would still be required to implement the new evaluations — including some of its most controversial parts, which factor in student test scores — but teachers’ jobs would not yet be on the line for another year.

“I think we do need to pause and take a breath,” Jasey said yesterday in a forum hosted by the New Jersey School Boards Association and the state PTA.

“It’s important to acknowledge the importance of teacher evaluation, but if really serious about making these changes, and the goal is really about improving education and making sure there is an excellent and effective teacher in every classroom, then we need to take the time to do it right,” she said.

“As a prime sponsor of that legislation, I want to see this work,” Jasey said. “I don’t want to see it go up in flames because we didn’t give it proper vetting.”

Even if approved by the Assembly, the nonbinding resolution’s impact would be limited, carrying no weight beyond the bully pulpit. The Christie administration has shown no signs of slowing down the process.

And, at the moment, there is no similar resolution in the Senate, where the chief architect of the new teacher-tenure law — including the new evaluation rules — was not showing much support herself.

State Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) actually had such a one-year delay in her original tenure bill, but it was subsequently negotiated out of the legislation in a give-and-take with various stakeholders.


Similar Posts