In 1994, the State Board initiated a strategic planning process for education reform in the state. After two years of public input, the State Board and the Commissioner of Education adopted the Strategic Plan for Systemic Improvement of Education in New Jersey. The plan, reviewed and updated annually, determines the activities designed to achieve the state’s education goals. For example, the State Board has taken action on the following major initiatives:
•Adopted statewide Core Curriculum Content Standards in May 1996 which define a thorough education and form the basis for the new statewide school funding system.
•Created an equivalency and waiver process to allow for flexibility among districts by granting relief where code seems overly restrictive.
•Adopted code for the operation of charter schools and inter-district school choice.
•Adopted code on continuing education for teachers. Code requires at least 100 hours of state-approved professional development activities every five years.
•Adopted code to implement the comprehensive standards and assessment program that has formed the basis for education-based reform in the state.
•Evaluated and reviewed the state licensure code.
•Adopted graduation requirements to coincide with Core Curriculum Content Standards.
•Adopted code to ensure that the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act are implemented in New Jersey.
•Assisted the State-operated school districts to reverse a cycle of failure, help them achieve state school monitoring standards and return to local control.