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Rice Measure To Take Back School Districts Becomes Law

QSAC System Will Create a Plan to Improve Student Performance

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice which establishes a new performance monitoring system for public schools and leads the way towards creating independence for school districts that are now under the State’s control became law yesterday.

“The current system that New Jersey uses to monitor student performance has made it nearly impossible for school districts to ever get out from under the State’s control,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “It’s evident that the old evaluations system is not working. To truly enhance student achievement we must allow the districts to take on more responsibility and play a major role in determining how to better serve the specific needs of their students.”

The enacted bill, S-1431, will create a new evaluation procedure called the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJ QSAC). The system looks at school district performance and determines how much state support is needed based on where the district falls along a performance continuum scale.

According to Senator Rice, at one end of the continuum are those school districts that have demonstrated effective practices and would not need any intervention. At the opposite end are the districts that have consistently not met State standards. These schools warrant substantial improvement and require intervention, added Senator Rice.

“Newark, Paterson and Jersey City are currently under State control, but under the new system these districts would have more independence, with the State only offering assistance with their educational improvements,” said Senator Rice.

“It’s a fact that the gap between schools’ performance levels is increasing,” said Senator Rice. “By putting in place a system that would evaluate and intervene with the schools that are falling behind, the State requirements would help get the quality of education in those schools back on track.”

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