On Monday, October 27, 2014, the Assembly Education Committee considered the recommendations of NJPSA and the Garden State Alliance for Strengthening Education (GSASE) on the issues of teacher preparation, support and quality. GSASE is a coalition of higher education institutions, statewide education associations including NJPSA and NJEA and researchers who joined together to review the research and develop recommendations to strengthen the teaching profession in New Jersey. NJPSA is a founding member of the coalition which issued its report in September 2014.
NJPSA Executive Director Patricia Wright testified in support of the GSASE recommendations concerning teacher mentoring and induction, the need for strong professional learning opportunities from pre-service throughout a teacher’s career and the need to develop new approaches to teacher leadership in the classroom and school.
Many of the recommendations within this report will be considered in the regulatory arena of the New Jersey State Board of Education. However, legislation has already been introduced in the area of teacher leadership – A-448 (Jasey, Diegnan) would create a teacher leader endorsement to the teaching certificate as a new career path for experienced teachers to stay in the classroom.
In addition to the GSASE presentation, the Assembly Education Committee considered the following legislation:
- A-305 (Russo) – Prohibits use of smokeless tobacco in public schools. NJPSA supports this legislation.
- A-3224 (Singleton / Lampitt / Quijano) – Requires annual suicide prevention instruction for public school teaching staff members as part of professional development requirement. NJPSA, as well as her sister stakeholders have concerns regarding this legislation and is working with the sponsor to address our concerns (NJPSA testimony).
- A-3441 / S-1946 (Jimenez / Prieto / Sumter / Sacco / Pennacchio) – Permits school districts to request and receive motor vehicle records to verify a student's eligibility for enrollment in a school district. NJPSA supports this legislation.
- AR-170 (Diegnan / Pinkin) – Recognizes week of December 8 through 14, 2014 as "Computer Science Education Week." NJPSA supports this legislation. NJPSA supports this legislation.