NJDOE Releases Code Proposals Up for Public Comment

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The New Jersey Department of Education released several code proposals for public comment July 31.  Individuals have the opportunity to weigh in on each electronically or via snail mail over the next sixty (60) days.  NJPSA weighed in on the proposals during the State Board of Education comment process.

At least one of the code proposals, N.J.A.C. 6A:10, Educator Effectiveness, may see changes at the upcoming State Board of Education meeting, however.  Stay tuned to next week’s GR blast for more details

Code Proposals

            Among the changes proposed to this code are the following:

  • Moving the date by which student growth objectives (SGO) need to be completed from October 15 to October 31 to allow school district personnel more time;
  • Allowing the filing of the SGOs once calculated versus once set;
  • Elimination of the December 1 deadline for completion of co-observation;
  • Allowing for the electronic filing of observation reports;
  • The creation of an internal appeals process for teachers to the superintendent and ultimately the board for procedural errors in evaluation; and
  • Moving regulations related to the evaluation of staff, other than teachers, principals, assistant principals and vice principals to a separate, distinct section of the code.           

While supportive of some of the proposed changes, NJPSA voiced significant concern regarding the proposed appeals process.  It is our understanding that this part of the proposal will be modified/removed as the proposal moves toward final adoption.

This proposal is a mere re-adoption of the code in light of its scheduled expiration on May 10, 2014.  The code provision was modified in January and August of 2013.  NJPSA advocated strenuously during the regulatory comment period in 2013 in light of changes that sought to create a streamlined application process, allowed for the establishment of satellite campuses, created new tenure acquisition and revocation rules for charter teaching staff members, and allowed for broad Commissioner discretion in waiver of regulation.

This proposal is also up for re-adoption in light of the sunset of the chapter.  Although mostly minor, NJPSA had a chance to weigh in on two points related to the code provision during public testimony.  Specifically, the Association re-raised issues related to summer school course credit (under changes adopted in 2013, remedial and advanced course work credit hour requirements were made equivalent).  NJPSA sought the establishment of a ‘floor” credit hour requirement with enhanced flexibility for districts where advanced course work is pursued).  Our understanding is that the Department walked away for this differentiation in the re-adopted code proposal.   

This proposal addresses the internal State Board Rulemaking process.  Only minor, required changes are proposed.

Commenting on the Proposals

Thankfully individuals have different avenues available to comment on the proposals, including public testimony (for certain titles), submission of comments electronically and submission of comments via mail. 

Public Testimony

Public testimony will be held September 3, 2014 for the following titles:

Online registration will open in mid-August to speak at the September 3 public testimony session.  In addition, written comments may be mailed to the Board directly:

New Jersey Department of Education
State Board Office
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-500

Online Commenting

In addition, for all titles individuals have an opportunity to comment via the online portal by simply clicking on the comment tab to the right of the respective titles. 

Comments on the Educator Effectiveness and Charter School titles will be accepted until August 15.  Comments on the State Board Rulemaking and School District Operations will be accepted until October 15.

Mailing Comments In

Finally, individuals can mail their comments in to the Department as follows:

Educator Effectiveness

          Mr. Peter Shulman, Chief Talent Officer

          Division of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness

New Jersey Department of Education

P.O. Box 500

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500


Charter Schools

          Mr. Evo Popoff, Chief Innovation Officer

          Division of Charter Schools, School Choice, Technology, Turnarounds

New Jersey Department of Education

P.O. Box 500

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500


State Board Rulemaking

Mr. William Haldeman, Chief of Staff

Division of the Chief of Staff

New Jersey Department of Education

P.O. Box 500

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500


School District Operations

Mr. Robert Bumpus, Acting Assistant Commissioner

Division of Field Services

New Jersey Department of Education

P.O. Box 500

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500