At a forum hosted by We Raise NJ on April 20, 2015, the New Jersey Department of Education announced a partnership between NJPSA/FEA and NJIT to develop online learning modules to support the implementation of CAR, the Connected Action Roadmap, in New Jersey schools. In making the announcement, NJDOE Commissioner David Hespe endorsed CAR as the model professional development program for comprehensive and coherent learning for educational leaders, calling it the vision of teaching, leading, and learning for New Jersey schools. “We recognize the need for a coherent process of school improvement that connects standards, student learning, assessment, professional learning, educator effectiveness, and school culture,” Hespe said. “In order for such a process to take hold, we must refocus and move from compliance to practice. This cannot be done in a vacuum. We are here to talk about a tool that is convenient and sustainable. It is a blended learning format.”
Written and developed by Patricia Wright, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, CAR is a three-day professional development program that connects Common Core State Standards, student learning, professional learning, and teacher and leader effectiveness to the work of professional learning communities (PLCs).
All New Jersey educational leaders — superintendents, principals, directors, supervisors, teachers, parents, communities, and foremost, students — who believe that the process for increasing student achievement must be coherent, connected, and systemic should register for CAR training.
CAR, which uses an easy-to-follow and easy-to-remember roadmap as a metaphor to describe the various components of the training, works in every type of school district in New Jersey. It takes a comprehensive approach to strategically integrating curriculum, effective instruction, assessment, professional learning and evaluation.
NJDOE Chief Academic Officer Kimberly Harrington echoed Hespe’s sentiments. “Teachers believe in higher standards, but they need help and support,” she said. “We need to have a continual cycle of teaching and learning.”
Pat Wright explained the CAR metaphor and the importance of culture and climate in schools. “The car is a framework that focuses on how teachers and educators can collaborate on helping students reach the highest level of achievement,” she said. “Together they can look at data and use it to impact and enhance student learning. The drivers of the process are teacher and leader effectiveness, and as teachers and leaders engage in these conversations they become deeper conversations. The result is continuous improvement that leads to higher achievement.
To learn more about CAR or to customize this training in your school district, contact Jay Doolan or Karin Marchione at 609-860-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com or visit www.featraining.org.