State Board of Education April 2022 Meeting Wrap Up

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The New Jersey State Board of Education met on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. The State Board passed three Resolutions and received testimony from the New Jersey Department of Education on school performance reports, graduation data including a new reporting method with two different calculations of  state graduation rates this year,  the Department’s initiatives on Social Emotional Learning Initiatives and the release of the NJ Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Guide. 


The State Board introduced and passed three Resolutions, one in Recognition of the Month of the Military Child in New Jersey, one in Recognition of School Library Month in New Jersey, and the other in Recognition of Better Hearing and Speech Month in New Jersey


Representatives from the NJ Department of Education presented the 2020-2021 School Performance Reports and Graduation Data Release. During the presentation, the Office of Performance Management, Division of Educational Services reviewed the data impacts in 2020-2021 School Performance Reports, presented the 2021 graduation rates and data, reviewed the federal assessment reporting requirements, and discussed the release of reports/graduation data. The reports can be found on the department’s school performance report website. The impact of COVID was more widespread in the 2020-2021 reports than in the 2019-2020 reports. Due to the COVID pandemic and resulting assessment cancellations and federal waivers, the 2020-2021 school performance reports will not have some data that otherwise normally would have been reported.  Additionally, in the Spring 2021,  both the DLM and ACCESS to ELLs assessments were administered in-person only, (remote administration was not available), and the number of students testing was significantly lower than in years past. The PSAT, ACT, and ACT participation rates were also lower in 2021, consistent with national trends. 


This year, New Jersey is reporting two different graduation rates: a state-level number and a federal number that will be reported to the U.S. Department of Education. The federal graduation rate, new this year, is the rate where the Department has to remove from the numerator, students with disabilities whose individualized education programs (IEPs) allow for modifications or exemptions to course enrollment or attendance requirements.  This calculation will exclude approximately 2,200 students with disabilities. The state number includes all graduates and is comparable to previous years’ graduation rates. This change was the result of a corrective action plan instituted by the federal Department of Education after the 2018 ESSA monitoring period. The federal graduation rate is 67% compared to the state graduation rate of 79%. If a high school has a federal graduation rate of less than 67% that high school must be identified for comprehensive support under ESSA. View the Department’s School Performance and Graduation Data Release presentation here


Representatives from the NJDOE also presented to the State Board the Department’s Social Emotional Learning Initiatives and Release of New Jersey Comprehensive School-based Mental Health Guide. The Division of Educational Services presented updates on NJDOE SEL initiatives, and provided an overview of the release of the New Jersey Comprehensive School-based Mental Health Guide. The online modules, available on the NJDOE website,  are designed to provide users with a toolkit. The NJDOE is also working with families.  Finally, representatives from the Department of Education presented on the DREAMS Project. Utilizing ESSER I funds to partner with the NJ Department of Children and Families, the goals of the project are to provide training on trauma-informed & healing-centered practices, strengthen the connection between schools and community providers and promote sustainability through a ‘train the trainer’ model. Districts across the state are reporting SEL needs that have only exacerbated by the pandemic. Read the NJDOE’s Social Emotional Learning Initiatives and Release of New Jersey Comprehensive School-based Mental Health Guide here


Representatives from the NJDOE also discussed the proposed Readoption with Amendments of N.J.A.C. 6A:28, School Ethics Commission.  The Act prescribes the ethical standards by which school officials are to be guided in the conduct of their offices and positions. The Office of Legal Affairs and School Ethics Division of Legal and External Services discussed key areas in Chapter 28: the filing of financial and personal/relative disclosure statements; Board member and charter school or renaissance school project trustee training; the issuance of advisory opinions; the filing of complaints; and the review of complaints by the Commission. See the NJDOE proposal here


The State Board of Education is currently accepting public testimony (written testimony only) on: 

  • School Ethics Commission (readoption with amendments)
  • Religious Holidays Calendar Resolution
  • State Board of Examiners and Certification — Limited Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and Limited Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) Pilot Program


The Board will meet again on May 4th, 2022. 

If you have questions about any of the topics covered during the April State Board of Education meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact your NJ{SA Government Relations team, Director Debra Bradley, or Assistant Director Jennie Lamon