South Jersey districts to take part in educator-evaluation projects

Posted: July 19, 2012

Six South Jersey school districts will take part in the state's expanding teacher evaluation program, and one has been selected for a new pilot program to evaluate principals, education officials said Tuesday.

Of 70 districts that applied for the evaluation program, nine districts and one consortium were selected and will share $1 million, the official said.

The local districts that will take part are Bordentown Regional, Woodbury City, Haddonfield, and a consortium of Collingswood, Audubon, and Merchantville.

Fourteen districts were picked to start the principal-evaluation pilot program, including Pemberton. They will share $400,000.

Collingswood Superintendent Scott Oswald said his staff was looking forward "to the opportunity to join the conversation in Trenton to ensure that effective teaching is recognized and rewarded and to help all teachers and administrators grow as professionals to benefit our students."

He said his district, in partnership with Merchantville and Audubon, expected to receive $110,000 from the state.

"Meaningful evaluations will give us another powerful tool to ensure our children have the most effective teacher possible at the front of every classroom and that we move closer to our goal of preparing all of our students for college and careers," acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf said in a statement.

In the last school year, the Pemberton and West Deptford School Districts and three Camden schools participated in the opening year of the teacher-evaluation program.

In the 2013-14 school year, all of New Jersey's public school districts will be required to have teacher and principal evaluation systems in place. Districts can devise their own systems, according to state officials, but must adhere to certain state requirements. Those include having 50 percent of the evaluation based on measures of student achievement and 50 percent on assessment of professional practice, including observations of teachers at work. Standardized-test performance can be one of the measures, but it is not required to be the only measure.

Contact Rita Giordano at 856-779-3841, or on Twitter @ritagiordano.

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