By Hannan Adely, Staff writer, The Record

New Jersey’s adoption of teacher evaluations that relied on student test scores was hailed by Governor Christie as a way to make educators accountable for how much students learned.

Last week, however, under pressure from lawmakers, parents and teacher unions, the governor announced plans to lessen the impact that those test scores will have on judging teachers. But despite the vocal criticism, those who supported the evaluation system say they have not wavered in their commitment to it.

“I think the Board of Education and the community in general supports [evaluations],” said Mark Biedron, president of the state Board of Education. “The question is what system do you use and how much of it and frankly how much do you weigh on tests?”

New Jersey approved an evaluation system a year ago that rates teachers partly by student scores on state tests — with results counting in such high-stakes decisions as whether to grant or take away tenure.

But over the past year, educators have strongly protested that they need more time to adjust to new academic standards and new computer-based state tests. They said they have to teach new material, prepare students for the tests and improve computers and Internet connections.


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