The New Jersey State Board of Education voted to readopt its regulations pertaining to Educator Evaluations. The NJ Department of Education had originally proposed to readopt the chapter with minor amendments but had signaled a willingness to propose additional amendments if public testimony pointed out additional areas warranting regulatory change. Based upon feedback received from public testimony, the Department proposed significant additional amendments in February 2020. The new, additional amendments proposed on Wednesday address three areas: Corrective Action Plans, School Improvement Panels and Components of the Teacher Evaluation Rubric. At the State Board meeting on Wednesday, July 1st, the Department announced that they have amended the proposal again, withdrawing the amendments that had been put forth at proposal level. The rational the Department cited for the Amendments being withdrawn was:
- COVID-19 has resulted in tremendous disruption to all aspects of education, including the evaluation of educators;
- The Department contends that maintaining the stability/predictability of the existing evaluation system is critical as school districts grapple with the ”new normal” of post-COVID-19 operations;
- Districts will need to need to reestablish norms within their educator evaluation systems in the 2020-21 school year including;
- setting new baselines for student learning measures;
- establishing interrater reliability on the evaluation of educators whose
instruction may continue to be delivered remotely; and
- The Department’s belief that the burden on school districts is best reduced by avoiding non-essential regulatory changes.
The motion to readopt the regulations without any significant amendments was carried unanimously.