Beth Milne is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

This week, kids across New Jersey are returning to schools that will now be doing even more to ensure that great teachers are in every classroom.

That’s because one year ago, New Jersey passed the TEACHNJ Act. This new law transforms the state’s teacher evaluation and tenure systems to give educators the meaningful feedback, support and recognition they need to effectively teach all New Jersey students.

Read our latest issue brief, TEACHNJ: One Year Later, to find out everything you need to know about TEACHNJ and how it will impact classrooms across the state.

In short, TEACHNJ will:

  • Make teacher evaluations more meaningful by using multiple measures of teacher effectiveness, more frequent observations for all teachers, a four-tiered rating scale and individualized professional development plans.
  • Directly link student achievement to teacher evaluations.
  • Increase the number of years of teaching required to earn tenure from three to four.
  • Directly link a teacher’s ability to earn and retain tenure to their evaluations.
  • Expedite and contain costs for the arbitration and dismissal process for chronically ineffective teachers.

The brief also recommends ways to build off of TEACHNJ and get even closer to realizing the vision of great schools for all New Jersey students.

Those recommendations include:

  • Move forward with full implementation of TEACHNJ without delaying any piece of it.
  • Bolster teacher preparation programs.
  • Keep teacher and principal professional development a high priority in schools.
  • Empower principals as instructional leaders and hold them accountable for creating a sustainable, success-friendly environment for teachers.
  • Keep stellar teachers in front of the classroom through known strategies for recruitment, recognition and retention.
  • End layoffs that are solely based on seniority.

So read up and learn about that vision, how close we are now, and what we need to do in the coming months and years to achieve it.

Our kids deserve the best, and with these changes, we’re taking critical steps forward to ensure they get just that.


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