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The mission of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, the unifying professional association of school leaders, is to ensure...Read More
February 13, 2016
This special announcement will provide you with up-to-date information on pertinent educational issues that are part of the State Board's agenda.

Eyes on the NJ State Board of Education
Meeting Date: February 10, 2016
Commissioner's Report  
State-Operated School Districts' Annual Reports 
Jersey City School District Chief Education Officer Dr. Marcia Lyles presented the District's Annual Report.  

Paterson Public Schools Chief Education Officer Dr. Donnie W. Evans shared both the District's Annual Report and a Brighter Futures Report.

The New Jersey State Board of Education approved returning two areas of local control - fiscal management and personnel - to the state-operated Paterson School District.

Using PARCC Data to Inform Curriculum & Instruction
With the release of last spring's PARCC results, Former NJDOE Assistant Commissioner Bari Erlichson informed the State Board of her present work with local districts to improve instruction.

Adoption Level
Bilingual Education N.J.A.C. 6A:15  
As the chapter is scheduled to expire on March 14, 2016, the State Board adopted amendments to the regulations pertaining to bilingual education pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:35-15 to 26.

The readopted rules maintain the focus on achieving results for LEP students, while holding school districts accountable for the results. The readopted rules with amendments also provide flexibility in the design of bilingual/English as a second language (ESL) services based on the needs of LEP student populations at the school district level and require the development of bilingual and ESL curricula correlated to the State's academic standards. The chapter also addresses the provision by school districts of developmentally appropriate instruction to eligible preschool LEP students.

The amendments throughout the chapter will replace "limited English proficient students" or "LEP students" with "English language learner" or "ELL" to reflect the term currently used for students whose native language is other than English. 

Discussion Level - Second  
Standards and Assessments N.J.A.C. 6A:8
The chapter, which implements the Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS) and the Statewide assessment system, is being revised due to the adoption of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments. The State Board discussed amendments to the regulations pertaining to graduation requirements pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:7A-10 through 14, 18A:7C-1 et seq., 18A:7E-2 through 5, 18A:35-4.2 and 4.7, and 18A:59-5.

NJDOE proposes amendments throughout the chapter to transition away from 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. This transition to end-of-course assessments is based, in part, upon the recommendations of the New Jersey High School Redesign Steering Committee, which began reviewing the Statewide graduation proficiency assessment requirement in 2006, in addition to the recommendations set forth in the final report of the Study Commission on the Use of Student Assessments in New Jersey.

The end-of-course assessments in ELA 10 and Algebra I were selected as the appropriate assessments for students to demonstrate graduation proficiency as the tests appear to align best with the expectations of the knowledge and skills for graduation established in State statute. However, the selection of ELA 10 and Algebra I is being made to ease the transition to a new assessment system and will be reassessed after a few years of implementation. In addition, the transition of the Statewide assessment graduation requirement to end-of-course assessments will need to take place gradually as some students have already completed content covered by the end-of-course assessments.

As such, students graduating in 2016 through 2019 will be able to satisfy the requirement to demonstrate proficiency in English language arts and mathematics through a means other than an end-of-course PARCC assessment, including achieving a passing score on a substitute competency test or meeting the criteria of NJDOE's portfolio appeal process.

Students graduating in the class of 2020 will be permitted to demonstrate graduation proficiency through the same alternative means as those in the classes of 2016 through 2019, provided that students in the class of 2020 take all end-of-course PARCC assessments for which they are eligible as of the effective date of the proposed amendments. Students graduating in 2021 and thereafter who have not demonstrated proficiency on English language arts and mathematics though the end-of-course PARCC assessment by their senior year may demonstrate graduation proficiency by meeting the criteria of the portfolio appeals process. To assist school districts and students in making a smooth transition to the new assessment system and graduation requirements, the criteria used in the NJDOE's portfolio appeals process for the class of 2016 and thereafter will be similar to the criteria used for the Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) appeals process.

Discussion Level - First and Second 
School Ethics Commission N.J.A.C. 6A:28 
NJDOE proposes to readopt without amendment N.J.A.C. 6A:28, School Ethics Commission which expires on April 21, 2016. The rules effectuate the School Ethics Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq., which seeks to ensure and preserve public confidence in the integrity of elected and appointed district board of education members and school administrators.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at agallagher@njasa.net or 609-599-2900, ext. 126.    

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Anne H. Gallagher
NJASA Director of Communications 

Christie-Appointed Panel Pans State Pension Plan Touted by Democrats 
John Reitmeyer | February 12, 2016
NJSpotlight reports: 

After largely staying out of the political debate over funding public-employee benefits for nearly a year, a commission of experts impaneled by Gov. Chris Christie has jumped back into it, issuing a new report that roundly criticizes a pension-funding constitutional amendment proposed by Democratic legislative leaders.

The new report also provides new details on the panel's own plan to save roughly $2 billion by making sweeping changes to government worker and retiree healthcare plans. That money, under the plan, would then be used to help pay down the state's $40 billion pension debt. Read More....