Org Changes At NJDOE Approved, State Board Takes Testimony On Evaluation Changes

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The State Board of Education at their June meeting took testimony from stakeholders on proposed changes to the teacher and principal evaluation system as well as changes to current graduation requirements.  The Board also approved significant changes to the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) organization chart and had a presentation on career and technical education.

Org Chart Changes

Among the more impactful moments of the June 1 meeting was the approval of several new NJDOE promotions and consolidations of duties as follows:.

Margaret McDonald


Deputy Chief Learning Supports and Specialized Services Officer
Samantha Skabla Deputy Chief Legal Officer
Diana Pasculli Deputy Chief External Affairs Officer
Harold Lee Director, Office of Charter and Renaissance Schools
Christopher Snyder Director, Office of District Intervention and Support
Kristen Brown Chief Talent Officer
Kathryn Whalen Director, Office of Equity and Compliance
Dodi Price Chief Administrative Officer


Kevin Dehmer Chief Financial Officer
David Podolsky Director, Office of Accounting

Often an occurrence at the end of a gubernatorial term, the changes seek to streamline and consolidate operations at the Department for effectively.  They come after the exit of several key staff members including, Evo Poppoff, Chief Innovation Officer several weeks ago.

Evaluation Changes

Beyond organizational changes at the NJDOE, the Board also had a second discussion around changes current evaluation rules housed in N.J.A.C. 6A:9C, Professional Development and N.J.A.C.6A:10, Educator Effectiveness, taking testimony from stakeholders, including NJPSA, later in the day.

The changes coalesce around the following thematic changes to the system:

  • Simplify requirements to allow more timeto work with teachers
  • Provide extra flexibilityfor evaluating Highly Effective teachers
  • AlignPDP, CAP, and SGO deadlines
  • Alignadministrator training/develop local policies for SGOs
  • Simplifyand increase flexibility in principal evaluation


The following outline the specifics of the proposal across the 5 areas.


evalch2evalch3 evalch4

evalch5 evalch6



The proposal is slated for potential adoption by Fall 2016.  NJPSA had a chance to weigh before State Board members expressing agreement with much of the proposal.

Evaluation weights for the 2016-17 have not yet been set and will be announced by August 31.

Graduation Code Changes

In addition to taking testimony on the proposed evaluation code, the Board also took testimony at proposal level to changes to current graduation requirements.  NJPSA weighed in on the proposal in concert with other advocates.

Changes include: update of the definition of the statewide assessment system to incorporate the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments and the establishment of a three-phase transition for PARCC as a graduation requirement, replacing the comprehensive High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) to end-of-course assessments in English language arts (ELA) 10 and Algebra I as the Statewide assessment graduation requirement as follows:


phase1 phase2 phase3

The phase in does NOT eliminate the portfolio appeal process for students for the foreseeable future.  The Department has used the process as an alternative means to demonstrate graduation proficiency since 2010.   Beginning this month, portfolio submissions will occur on rolling basis through May 13, 2016.  This extended timeframe is meant to ease the transition to the new graduation requirements and the anticipated number of appeals.

Among the specific regulatory changes are the following items:

overview of changes overview of changes1

NJPSA supports the proposal, although the Association once again raised the need to articulate the definition of the portfolio assessment more affirmatively.

Graduation Presentation

Interestingly, the Board received a presentation from Bari Erlichson, now the Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Data Literacy and Don Mitchell, the new Chief Performance Officer on current graduation data which highlighted gaps in course requirements versus student performance on the new PARCC assessment earlier in the day.  Among the highlighted items was the cost incurred by students who needed remediation at the college level before being able to enter credit bearing course work.  Also outlined was the process the Department has taken, versus the action taken by other states to drive consistency and quality via the use of a benchmarked assessment like PARCC.

Special Education Advisory Council

Additionally, the Board approved two appointments and eight reappointments to the Special Education Advisory Council.  Appointments include:

Dr. Paul Barbato

Dr. Barbato is a director of Special Services for the Dumont Public Schools.  In 2014, he was named the New Jersey Special Education Administrator of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and the New Jersey Association of Pupil Services Administrators.   Dr. Barbato earned his doctorate from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Psychology and Education departments at Hudson County Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Dr. Christopher Shamburg

Dr. Shamburg is a professor in the graduate program in Educational Technology at New Jersey City University where he works in teacher education. His research interests include: technology and language arts education; universal design for learning; special education and inclusion.  He has authored two books and in 2012 was awarded the New Jersey Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. Dr. Shamburg received his doctorate from the Teachers College of Columbia University.

Reappointments to the Council include:

  • Myriam Alizo
  • Susan Colacello
  • Beth Kelley
  • Deborah Lynam
  • Melanie McGackin
  • Magaly Milton
  • Leslie Rubinstein
  • Fred Tchang

Career & Technical Education

The highlight of the meeting was a comprehensive series of presentations by several members of the vocational and technical school network – with presentations from students, teachers and school leaders.  This segment of the meeting included:

  • An Overview and Goals for Career Readiness and CTE
  • A Career Readiness across the Continuum presentation by Chris Kobik, Superintendent of Cape May Regional School District as well as Teachers & Students from the Cape May district;
  • A Presentation on Partnerships for High-Quality Employer Driven Programs with Scott Moffit, Superintendent, Morris County Vocational- Technical School District, Shari Castelli, Director of Curriculum and Programs, and two students from our Engineering Design and Manufacturing Program:  Kyle Green and Lauren Zenna; and
  • A Presentation on Providing Students with Multiple Pathways to Success to Postsecondary and Career with folks from the Union City School District

State Board Meeting Calendar & 2016-17 Leadership

Additionally, the Board approved the meeting calendar for the 2016-17 year.  Also announced was the slate of officers for the coming year which remain intact with Board Member Marc Beidron continuing as President and Board Member Joseph Fisicaro continuing to serve as Vice President.  The election of officers is expected at the July meeting.

Certification of School Districts

Further, the Board reviewed NJQSAC information for 16 districts (7 full reviews and 9 interim reviews), as indicated in Appendix A, 1 of which met the 80 percent requirement.  The residual will need to implement a QSAC improvement plan to address deficient indicators.  Following plan implementation, the executive county superintendent will conduct another interim progress review.

MOESC Enlargement of Purpose

Finally, the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission made a presentation to the Board in order to seek expansion of purpose approval.