Superintendent Charles Sampson spelled out three new changes that will be coming to the over the next few years at the district's Board of Education meeting on Monday, including implementing the new teacher evaluation model, the introduction of new Common Core Standards, and the phasing out of HSPA and introduction of PARCC, a new student assessment of achievement.
On September 1, 2013, the state is changing the way in which teachers will be evaluated. Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf announced last mont that the teacher evaluation pilot program he initiated has been extended and now is allowing 30 districts within the state to participate in the program, according to the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
“We need time to reflect upon and learn from mistakes of districts traveling down the path we will be traveling,” Sampson said in his blog. The district must plan for the changes for next year now by adopting a teacher evaluation model and training teachers and administrators about this model, designed to evaluate teachers under specific criteria related to student achievement, Sampson explained.
While the state’s part in this implementation has yet to be spelled out, Sampson said that more information regarding these guidelines will be available within the next month or two.
The district is also phasing out High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) testing and switching to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). According to PARCC’s Web site, they "are a consortium of states working together to develop a common set of K-12 assessments in English and Math anchored in what it takes to be ready for college and careers.”
Sampson said that within the next two years all of the students in the district will be taking their content specific tests on computers. These tests may occur as often as five times a year, he indicated.
PARCC tests claim to measure the full content of and skills called for in the English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics Common Core State Standards, which will be replacing previous New Jersey Standards. The new standards offer high school students knowledge which current adults learned at later stages in life, according to Sampson.
“All three of these things are literally unfolding simultaneously and we’re going to have to manage that.” the superintendent said. “And it’s going to take a great deal of time and effort to get it right.”
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