State Board Gets First Look At Professional Licensure Proposal, Also Gets Glimpse of PARCC Reports

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State Board Gets First Look At Professional Licensure Proposal, Also Gets Glimpse of PARCC Reports

The State Board of Education, at their February meeting, got a first look at the updated PARCC reports.   In addition, the Department presented for the first time extensive changes to the current professional licensure and certification code.  The Board also heard from Jersey City Superintendent Marcia Lyles, as part of the ongoing round of presentations by the districts under partial or full State control.

A Glimpse of PARCC Reports to Come

Chief Performance Officer Bari Erlichson and Chief Academic Officer Kimberly Harrington provided the Board with an overview of New Jersey’s past reporting capabilities under the NJASK as well as the HSPA as a starting point to unveiling the new PARCC reports.  In a presentation that included samples of the new student, classroom and school reports, Erlichson provided insight on what parents, educators and school leaders can expect.

The reports include parental, classroom and school components, including a portal for educators that will allow for item analysis.  The reports will also permit schools to drawn comparison to those similar to them in New Jersey and other consortium states.

According to Erlichson, the reports will be available in the fall this year but in coming years it could be as soon as the summer or even the end of the school year.

Next steps for the Department to get the word out on the new reports include:

  • PARCC Manuals and Guidance
  • In-person meetings, summer/fall 2015
  • PARCC Self-paced, web-based trainings
  • Collaboration with partners

The reports are almost identical to ones presented two weeks ago at an NJASCD conference (PARCC Provides Early Insight on Reports at ASCD Leadership Summit).

Seismic Change in Licensure of Teachers & Principals?

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) also released its new code detailing how prospective educators are to be trained and licensed.   Chief Talent Officer Pete Shulman presented the code to the Board.  The proposal includes changes for both ‘traditional’ route candidates as well as ‘alternate route’ candidates.  Among the changes, the proposals double the time that teacher candidates will need to serve as student teachers in a district, as well as the time required for those taking the alternate route.

According to Mr. Shulman the Department began their work around licensure with the June 2014 regulatory package, which raised the bar for entry into the profession.  This proposal seeks build on that work to:

  • Create a higher bar for entry into the teaching profession
  • Ensure preparation that supports high-quality instruction (e.g. Common Core State Standards, PARCC, and evaluation), guaranteeing novice teachers are exposed to an environment promoting student achievement
  • Integrating rich data to distinguish the quality of individual teacher candidates and their programs

In order to facilitate the changes the Department re-codified the title in August under four sub-titles:

•           N.J.A.C. 6A 9 Professional Standards

•           N.J.A.C. 6A 9A New Jersey Educator Preparation Programs

•           N.J.A.C. 6A 9B State Board of Examiners and Certification

•           N.J.A.C. 6A 9C Professional Development

The changes appear to coalesce around four (4) principles as broken down by route of entry to the profession:

  • Strong Candidates Entering the Profession
    • Traditional candidate – More selective criteria (GPA raised to 3.0 and basic skills requirement standardized)
    • Alternate route candidates – Programs would be rated and take on added responsibility for accepting candidates to their programs
  • Updated Preparation Requirements
    • Traditional candidate –
      • Richer clinical experiences that include a student teaching experience occurring over one school year, under an effective or highly-effective teacher, with at least 50 hours of practicum prior
      • Providers given flexibility to innovate with standards-based curriculum
      • Improved incentives for hosting student teachers (non-regulatory)
    • Alternate route candidates –
      • Single program provides end-to-end, sequential, coherent training to a cohort of teachers
      • Expanded duration of 2 years (350 hours or 24 credits) including comprehensive in-service preparation that focuses on classroom-based coaching / support and seat time
      • 50 hours of improved pre-service with required clinical experience
      • Providers establish fees for programming; can enhance offerings while also considering candidate affordability
  • Demonstrated Individual Performance (all routes)
    • More equitable criteria across all types of certification (all types of candidates required to pass a performance assessment)
    • Stricter initial certification criteria (GPA raised to 3.0 and performance assessment established)
    • Multiple years of experience required to earn standard
    • Multiple measures of performance required to earn standard certification
    • Updated reciprocity rules require novice teachers to pass a performance assessment and experienced teachers to demonstrate successful evaluation ratings
    • Stricter policies support all students being taught by high quality teachers

The graphic below outlines the changes across the defined areas above:

Changes are also expected with regard to substitute certification as outlined in the following slide:

In addition, the proposal calls for changes in the reciprocity rules for out of state candidates. 

Finally, the proposal also includes changes with regard to school leaders:

Program Data and Support

Assistant Commissioner Shulman also shared some insight on the new data sources that Department is tapping via higher education and the labor market to drive data on our future educators as they enter the profession and succeed.

At least some of the proposals stem from recommendations made by a coalition of education stakeholders including higher education, NJEA and NJPSA.  Unfortunately one of the biggest items proposed as part of that collaboration – a new ‘Teacher Leader’ endorsement did not make it off the drawing board in the proposal announced yesterday.  Legislation associated with creating that endorsement statutorily continues to move through the legislative process

Public testimony is scheduled for next month on the proposal.  Registration will open February 15.

Jersey City Presents

In addition to items related to schools across New Jersey, the Board also received a presentation from the Superintendent of the Jersey City Public Schools in a continuation of conversations with each of the districts under partial or full State control. 

According to Lyles, Jersey City, with about 28,000 students, faces issues that encompass poverty, chronic absenteeism, low test scores, and above-average dropout rates at the high school level.   Of its 40 schools, 16 are classified as "low-performing."

Jersey City continues to work at closing the achievement gap (30% gap between Asian scores and Black on NJ Ask in both ELA and Math-an improvement over prior years), all while facing budget shortfalls (21 million shortfall over next three years), crumbling infrastructure (66% of JCPS school buildings are over 80 years old with 33% of them being over 100 years old) and space shortages (63 trailers serving as classrooms for pre-K children). 

In special education in particular, performance has been largely stagnant, with the exception of Grade 4 Math, which posted a 10 point gain.  Overall, the percentage of special education students who are proficient is quite low, with four grades in LAL scoring under 15% proficient and three grades in math scoring below 30% proficient.

There have been gains, however, particularly among limited English proficiency students (there were gains made in every grade and subject except for three – Grades 5, 6 and 8 LAL, and Grade 8 Science).

Jersey City continues to work under a three-year Strategic Plan across five (5) areas:

  • College & Career Readiness;
  • Using data to drive academic achievement & inform instructional practices;
  • Recruitment, retention and development of strong educators;
  • Alignment of school system to meet the needs of staff school and classrooms; and
  • Family & community engagement

Jersey City Power Point

Programs to Support Student Development

In addition, the Board reviewed at proposal level changes to chapter 16 of the code, Programs to Support Student Development.  Changes were generally required due to recent statutory changes related to school health and school safety and security.  Specifically the changes:

·         Specify the school district’s responsibilities in providing school health services to eligible nonpublic school students;

·         Clarify the provisions of home or out-of-school instruction;

·         Require the establishment and implementation of an emergency action plan for responding to a sudden cardiac event, including the use of an AED (as required by Janet’s Law);

·         Pursuant to the Scholastic Student-Athlete Safety Act:

o    Require the use of a new Pre-participation Physical Evaluation (PPE) form [2.2(h)1ii];

o    Require a licensed physician, advanced practice nurse or physician assistant who completes the PPE form to complete the Student-Athlete Cardiac Screening professional development module (PD module) [2.2(h)1ii(1)]; and

o    Permit a student-athlete’s parent to obtain a physical examination from a physician who can certify completion of the PD module or to request the school physician provides the examination if the PPE is submitted without the signed certification statement [2.2(h)1ii(1)(A)];

o    Ensure a contract between the school district and school physician include a statement of assurance that the school physician completed the PD module [2.3(a)3]; and

o    Compel the school nurse to review the Health History Update Questionnaire form and share it with the school athletic trainer, if applicable. [2.3(b)3xvi].​

·         Under the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act, require school districts and nonpublic schools to distribute the sudden cardiac arrest pamphlet to the student-athlete and his or her parent or guardian [2.2h(1)vi]; and

·         Require a parent or other adult who has been designated by the parent, to be present during home instruction delivered in a student’s home [10.1(d)].

Certification of Districts

Finally, the Board approved four reviews under NJQSAC.  Appendix A lists all of the districts and their DPR scores.  Three districts scored 80 percent or above in all five DPR areas and were approved for a period of three years.  One district scored below 80% in one or more DPR areas and were required to develop and implement a QSAC improvement plan to address deficient indicators.