Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey ACT (TEACH NJ)
The Senate Committee Substitute (1R) for Senate Bill No. 1455 of 2012 changes how teaching staff members obtain tenure, the procedures by which these individuals are evaluated, the process by which tenure charges, specifically for inefficiency, are filed, and how any tenure charge is resolved. Under the substitute, the amount of time that must elapse before a teaching staff member may obtain tenure is increased from three years to four years. Additionally, in order to obtain tenure, a classroom teacher must complete a one-year mentorship program in the first year of teaching, and in at least two of the three subsequent years, receive “effective” or “highly effective” ratings on the annual summative evaluations. Similarly, a principal, assistant principal, or vice-principal must receive ratings of “effective” or “highly effective” on at least two annual summative evaluations, with the first such rating occurring on or after the completion of the second year of employment.
Central to the new law -- the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey ACT (TEACH NJ) -- is an improved evaluation system for teachers, one that will be based on approved evaluation instruments and professional standards that look at both teaching practices and student learning.
In each school, a School Improvement Panel will be created that will consist of a principal or his or her designee, an assistant or vice principal, and a teacher. The teacher will be a “person with a demonstrated record of success in the classroom,” chosen in consultation with the local Association. The panel will be responsible for overseeing the mentoring of new teachers and will conduct the evaluations of all teachers.
The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services extrapolated total estimated costs to determine an estimated $50 million for teacher evaluations and another $11 million for principal evaluations throughout the state. There will be other costs, too, including a shift of the funding for required mentoring of new teachers back to the state after years where it was zero funded and left to the teachers themselves to pay.
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East Hanover Township School District utilizes Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching tools in the 2012-2013 school year. Effective observations of teaching are the foundation on which any teacher evaluation program is built. The Teachscape delivery platform provides innovative and flexible technology to enable effective evaluation of teaching practices. District administrators and teachers completed training in Teachscape evaluation procedures in September 2012, and will begin utilizing the Teachscape Reflect Live technology in the observation process. Training and program evaluation will be on-going.
For more information contact the Superintendent’s office at (973) 887-2112 x110 or firstname.lastname@example.org