Governor Suspends Exit-Testing Requirements for Class of 2020
Changes Impact Educator Evaluation Requirements This Year
Evaluation Webinar to Be Rescheduled in the Very Near Future
On April 7, the Governor issued four new Executive Orders related to the Coronavirus. As a result of the Governor’s issuance of these Executive Orders and the New Jersey Department of Education’s need to engage in the rule-making process, the NJDOE will be unable to participate in the scheduled webinar regarding guidance on observation and evaluation.
This important webinar will be rescheduled to a future date, and we have been assured by the Department of Education that they will join us at that time to provide information, expertise, and answers to the many questions our members have on these important topics. Listed below are key points from two of those orders, Executive Orders 116 and 117, which are applicable to school districts:
Executive Order 117 applies broadly to all school districts. It applies the following waivers of statutory requirements for the 2019-20 school year:
The statutory requirement for a statewide assessment of eighth grade students is waived.
The statutory graduation assessment requirement is waived for any twelfth-grade student, including the portfolio assessment. As a result, the approximately 13,000 high school seniors who have not yet met the exit-testing requirement, will not be required to do so to graduate so long as they have met all credit, attendance and local graduation requirements.
Student growth data shall not be used as a measure of educator effectiveness for the 2019-20 school year.
The statutory requirement of three observations and evaluations for all non-tenured teaching staff members, including administrators, is waived.
This order has a wide-ranging impact on educator evaluation, and additional guidance will be forthcoming from the NJDOE in the near future. This order effectively eliminates the use of SGOs an SGPs for the current school year in educator evaluation, since districts will not have the available ata. The order also means that school districts will be required to make decisions regarding renewal or nonrenewal of teaching staff members without having the normally required number of evaluations to inform such decisions.
School districts are urged not to move forward with conducting observations and evaluation remotely at this time, or with making decisions linked to such evaluations until NJDOE issues guidance. NJPSA has been proactively working with the NJDOE and other educator associations on issues related to principal, supervisor, and teacher evaluation. We anticipate that additional guidance forthcoming from the NJDOE will provide clear direction on the evaluation of all staff, and will provide additional guidance to provisional teachers an those staff members who are on Corrective Action Plans.
Executive Order 116 only applies to those school districts that still hold April school board elections. These changes are intended to assist April election school districts, since the April 21 elections have now been moved to May 12, 2020. It includes the following key revisions to timelines:
For those April election school districts, the timeline for notifying a nontenured staff member regarding renewal or nonrenewal has been changed to June 5.
For those April election school districts, the deadline for the nontenured employee to accept an offer of reemployment has been changed to June 22.