Former Gov. Dick Codey (D-Roseland) and Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) introduced a bill that would keep the state’s educators on track for tenure if districts cannot conduct an annual summative evaluation for any reason.
“A teacher’s path to tenure shouldn’t be turned into a dead-end by this crisis,” Codey, a state senator, said. “This legislation will provide a way for educators to stay on track as they take on the challenge of teaching our students remotely.”
To earn Tenure, New Jersey teachers must complete a mentorship program during their first year and be rated effective or highly effective in two of the next three years.
It’s not clear whether all districts will complete the state-mandated evaluations while classes are being held remotely in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“While the Governor’s Executive Order 117 and the subsequent guidelines promulgated by the Commissioner of Education provide guidance for this school year, the passage of S2366/A3629 will ensure that now and in the future the omission of mandated evaluations for non-tenured teachers by the New Jersey Districts will not serve to prevent qualified educators from attaining tenure,” Caputo said.
The lawmakers’ bill would automatically rate teachers as effective if a district does not complete an evaluation.
“Our state is proud of our K-12 schools which are consistently noted as some of the best in the nation,” Codey said. “Our New Jersey educators are the backbone of our schools and we have to stand beside them in these tough times.”