“Confusion” is the term that many members have expressed when trying to navigate the evaluation requirements for teaching staff members and personnel other than principals, vice / assistant principals and teachers. While the TEACHNJ Act provided clear rules on evaluation of the titles aforementioned, the Act was silent on other titles such as: supervisor, director, school nurse, school librarian media specialist, guidance counselor, speech language specialists, etc. Thankfully there is guidance on what is required for the current school year.
Under current regulation, for those professionals in certificated positions other than teacher, principal, or AP/VP, districts have discretion in determining evaluation criteria. Overviews have been developed by the Department to aid districts:
- Evaluation for Directors & Supervisors
- Evaluation for Educational Services Staff, Counselors, and Other Specialists
Bottom line, however, for 2013-14 districts are granted considerable latitude in evaluating staff members in these roles. Districts can choose to continue existing practice, adopt or adapt their selected teaching or principal practice instruments, or create their own instrument. In essence, one observation for tenured, three observations for non-tenured and a system that utilizes four rating categories. Where applicable, metrics can be used but only where available.
Moving forward the Department does plan to identify pilots to share lessons and best practices of districts who exceeded current statutory requirements and will consider possible additions to regulations for 2014-15 or future years. So stay tuned!