Agenda: State Board of Education

October 3, 2012

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Time: 10 a.m. Place: New Jersey Department of Education, 1st floor conference room, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton

What they are doing: The State Board of Education will gets its first taste of the Christie administration’s plans toease the rules on teacher licensure, with new administrative code proposed Wednesday. It will also continue to hear and discuss new regulations planned for charter schools and for how teachers are evaluated once on the job. New Jersey’s latest Teacher of the Year also will be announced.

Teacher rules: The Christie administration last month unveiled its long-awaited report on ways to ease regulations and red tape on schools, and it will present the first of what are expected to be several installments of code changes on Wednesday. This one relates to the rules that teachers must meet to become and remain teachers, including changes to professional development requirements. A succession of new chapters in administrative code are expected to be presented to the board over the next several months.

Ongoing debates: The state board will also take up ongoing code proposals on teacher evaluation and charter schools, two of the hottest topics in education these days. The teacher evaluation code sets guidelines for a new statewide evaluation system aimed to launch in 2013. The charter regulations will lay out the state’s process for approving and reviewing charter schools, including language that would open the way for online charter schools. Both are in second discussion before the board, the last stage before it goes to full proposal and is almost assured of final approval.

One hot, the other not so much: The charter regulations have been among the hotter topics to come before the board, with hundreds of public comments submitted especially the notion of online schools. The teacher regulations have so far received a more tepid response, a little surprising given the rancor over teacher tenure over the past year. “I haven’t heard a lot yet, but maybe when it gets into the public realm of hearings, there will be more feedback,” said Arcelio Aponte, the board’s president.

Not just teachers: The state is also moving to raise the requirements for school administrators, and the board is being asked to set new passing scores for administrators on the national Praxis exam.

World language: With world languages one of the areas that have felt the pinch of tight budgets over the past few years, department staff will make a presentation on some instructional models being taken up by districts.