TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that would set up the New Jersey Educator Evaluation Review Task Force was approved by the Senate today.
The 12-member task force would be charged with examining the educator evaluation process, gathering data, evaluating the data, and making recommendations concerning the annual evaluation process for teachers, principals, assistant principals, and vice principals established pursuant to the “Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act.”
“In order to maintain our place as a state with top-rate public schools, we must continue to find ways to make them even better, to keep up with changing times and best outcomes, and to make sure our educator evaluation process stays current,” said Education Committee Chair Gopal (D-Monmouth).
The task force would study and evaluate the educator evaluation system established pursuant to the TEACHNJ Act, which was implemented in New Jersey public schools in 2012. The task force would take a fresh look at those systems, and consider the law in the current context of the State’s schools, identify areas for improvement, and make any recommendations on possible updates to the existing law.
Significantly, the bill, S-2082, would provide that, in the 2024-2025 school year, most teachers would not collect new student growth objective (SGOs) data, and schools would instead use, for the purposes of educator evaluations, existing student growth objective data from the most recent year in which the educator completed student growth objectives.
While the processes established under the TEACHNJ Act have been invaluable for supporting the teaching profession, the teacher evaluation process, and specifically the creation and use of SGOs, is incredibly time-intensive. This bill would force a new look at standards in use under the decade-old law, in order to ensure that the State’s teacher evaluation system most effectively utilizes school staff resources while maximizing the law’s benefits for teaching staff.
The Senate vote was 34-1.