Collaboration – For the Good of the Cause
Left, NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza; right, NJASA President Tony Trongone; listen as New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy addresses the Nov. 2 LEE meeting at NJASA Headquarters.
NJASA members are educational leaders who work in partnership with constituents to make an essential difference in the lives of children.
At the state level, NJASA leaders collaborate with our counterparts at other influential organizations to accomplish the same goal. There are six major educational groups that represent the stakeholders in K-12 public education within New Jersey:
- New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA),
- New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO),
- New Jersey Education Association (NJEA),
- New Jersey PTA (NJPTA),
- New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), and
- New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA).
The heads of these educational organizations gather throughout the year in a longstanding coalition titled the New Jersey Leadership for Educational Excellence (LEE). NJASA serves as the host organization for the group during the current school year where the leaders gather at NJASA headquarters to offer the benefit of their expertise and the perspective of their constituents on educational issues to the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey Legislature, and the Office of the Governor.
On November 2nd, on behalf of the the LEE organization, I welcomed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to the LEE meeting. The focus of the meeting was how the LEE can work collaboratively with the Governor to improve educational outcomes for students and to maintain New Jersey’s status as the number one ranked state system of education in the nation.
The LEE members lauded the Governor’s commitment to public education throughout his tenure but noted that challenges remain to be addressed during the final years of his term. We highlighted the following as among the most pressing:
● School Funding
● Student Safety and School Security
● Staff Recruitment and Retention
● Standardized Testing
● Student Mental Health Issues
We emphasized during the dialogue with the Governor that we are individuals with deep and meaningful experience in education providing an unmatched source for information and input in the development of educational policy. An example of LEE’s influence acknowledged at the meeting was the Governor’s recommended changes to the bill regarding Performance-Based Assessment requirements for teacher candidates. The Governor conditionally vetoed S896 noting: “I wholeheartedly agree that the current edTPA requirement for teaching candidates is counterproductive and should be eliminated, but also believe that other types of performance-based assessments can ensure that teaching candidates are ready to enter the classroom. My recommended changes, which come after months of productive discussions with stakeholders, allow educator preparation programs to select the performance-based assessment that best suits the needs of their students.”
Meeting on a regular basis, the LEE group is committed to working in the best interests of our students and the entire school community -- For the Good of the Cause.