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    920 West State Street * Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5328

    609.599.2900 / Fax: 609.599.9359 website: www.njasa.net

    Press Release

    Contact Anne H. Gallagher

    NJASA Director of Communications

    609-599-2900, ext. 126





    • Districts will face key issues in 2012, says Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. He is available to discuss:


    1)     Proposed legislation to move school budget vote to November

    2)     Teacher and Principal Evaluation – is it authentic?

    3)     Core Curriculum Standards Student Assessment – moving into the 21st century


    TRENTON, N.J. January 5, 2012 — The new year means continued challenges for New Jersey schools, from developing an authentic assessment for teachers, principals and students to moving the date for school elections and budget votes, according to the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA). The NJASA has identified the following items to watch:


    1.       Shifting Budget Vote to November Will Benefit Schools


    A new bill to move New Jersey’s April school budget and election votes to November is on track to pass. Sponsored by State Assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D-Camden), this is the first bill in decades to receive bipartisan support, possibly due to its flexibility, according to the NJASA. Districts are able to choose whether or not to move the election date from April to November. The change in date may be made by the school board, municipal council or by voter referendum.


    The proposed bill also eliminates budget votes for towns below the 2 percent cap. If the budget is above the cap, the excess amount would be put to a vote.


     “This is a smart move for New Jersey schools,” said Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the NJASA. “Historically, April elections have had low voter turnout. By shifting elections to November, there will be increased participation. This bill also will help districts whose below-cap budgets are being rejected by voters.”


    2.       Teacher and Principal Evaluation Must Be Authentic


    New Jersey’s schools are under pressure to implement a new teacher and principal assessment program for the 2012-13 school year. The new assessment program is anticipated to influence decisions about school personnel policies, professional development, promotion, compensation, merit-based bonuses, tenure and reductions in force, according to the NJASA. 


    Currently, 11 schools are testing the pilot program through March 2012. The program is expected to be a requirement for New Jersey schools for the 2012-13 school year, though the assessment in the initial year may not be counted toward teacher and principal tenure.


    “We urge the state to take some time to evaluate the results of the pilot program,” said Dr. Bozza. “Talk to administrators and staff to get the necessary feedback to make this an authentic assessment.”


    He cautioned against a “one size fits all” approach, which might not address specific situations such as posed by the following questions:


    • If one classroom has a number of special education students or limited English speaking students, should we rate the teachers the same on their students’ test scores? 
    • What if there is a team teaching approach? 
    • How do you credit each teacher for the performance of students? 
    • Does the influence of the second grade teacher affect the outcomes of the students taught by next year’s third grade teacher?


    3.       Core Curriculum Standards Will Update Student Assessment


    The Common Core State Standards, adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, will change the face of student assessment, according to the NJASA. The new standards will require more frequent and more comprehensive testing, including computer-directed performance-based tasks.


    Developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and experts, the standards are designed to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare students for college and the workforce. No state will lower its standards to comply with the national norm but rather will build upon the most advanced current thinking.


    The New Jersey Department of Education is already working in concert with neighboring states to develop and disseminate exemplary curriculum and periodic assessments in language arts, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics which schools can use beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.





    About NJASA:

    The New Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of chief education officers and school administrators who lead school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The Association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the Association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both educational and administrative perspectives. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all New Jersey children. The Association is located 920 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5328. For more information -- PH: 609.599.2900 / Fax: 609.599.9359 / website: www.njasa.net