Christie Administration Announces $1.1 Million Competitive Grant Encouraging School Districts to Participate in Teacher Evaluation Pilot Program

Pilot System Drives Districts and Educators to Innovate and Improve

For Immediate Release: Contact: Alan Guenther, Director
 Allison Kobus
Date: June 21, 2011 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf has announced a $1.1 million grant to encourage school districts to participate in an innovative teacher evaluation pilot program. The Excellent Educators for New Jersey (EE4NJ) grant funds will be awarded for the 2011-2012 school year to districts and charter schools that offer to work with the Department of Education to develop and implement new educator evaluation systems focused on teacher practice and student performance. The pilot program advances the recommendations released by Governor Christie’s Task Force on Educator Effectiveness in March and includes:

  • development of a new teacher evaluation system based on student learning
  • measuring student achievement by student growth and school-wide performance
  • evaluating teacher practices using new 2011 InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards

“New Jersey educators deserve timely, meaningful, and actionable feedback about the work they do to help students learn,” said acting Commissioner Chris Cerf. “This pilot system offers a tremendous opportunity for us to collaborate with our local partners on the best way to support our educators as they prepare New Jersey’s students for college and careers. I strongly encourage all school districts and charter schools to consider participating in this innovative and critical initiative.”

Participating districts will help design the new evaluation system and provide regular feedback to the Department of Education on the pilot system’s progress. Districts must follow specific implementation requirements, but will be given flexibility to develop certain elements of their own within the parameters provided. The limited-competitive project year is September 1, 2011 – September 30, 2012. Applications for the program are due by July 28, 2011.

The pilot program gives school districts the opportunity to access additional funding while gaining familiarity with a system that will ultimately apply across New Jersey. Educators from pilot districts will be fully engaged in the program and will receive ample training. They will also have the opportunity to join or provide feedback to district advisory committees, which will regularly inform the state on successes, challenges, and opportunities for improvement.

At the core of the pilot program is an evaluation system that fairly assesses teacher practice in the classroom, accurately measures student progress, and provides useful information to educators, administrators, policymakers, and families.  New Jersey is joining states and districts across the nation in making improved evaluations a priority.

To learn more, visit the EE4NJ Web site: http://www.state.nj.us/education/EE4NJ/