In order to reward and promote the most effective teachers, metrics must be established to identify good performing teachers, beyond seniority and degrees attained.
Governor Christie’s Reform Agenda turns the current system inside out and finally puts effective, quality teaching ahead of seniority and lackluster results by:
Prohibiting salary schedules or compensation policies that reward seniority alone;
Prohibiting the use of graduate degree accumulation as a basis, in and of itself, for salary increases, except in areas where graduate degrees have proven to be effective markers of improved teacher performance, such as math and science;
Granting schools and districts the flexibility to reward excellence in the classroom and to attract high-quality teachers to low-performing schools or hard-to-fill positions.
Governor Christie has put forward reforms to reward innovative and effective teaching, expand opportunities for New Jersey’s best teachers, and put student achievement at the center of educator evaluations. Governor Christie is challenging the education establishment with reforms to:
Promote Innovative and Effective Teaching by Valuing Student Achievement Over Seniority
Demand Accountability and Results for New Jersey’s Children with Data-Supported Evaluations
Expand Opportunities for Great Teachers to Succeed
Ensure Our Children Have Well-Prepared Teachers
Governor Christie’s reforms even go further to expand the opportunities available to teachers. Presently, the primary way for a teacher to achieve higher compensation outside of the seniority based salary guide is to receive graduate credits or to follow a lengthy, cumbersome path to becoming a principal or administrator. Teachers who are innovating and getting results, but wish to stay in the classroom, are given few opportunities to advance professionally. Governor Christie’s Reform Agenda changes that by establishing new credentials and career ladders with the designations of “Master Teacher” and “Master Principal.”
Governor Christie has convened the Task Force on Teacher Effectiveness, with the mission of defining and evaluating teacher and leader effectiveness. The Task Force will make recommendations to Governor Christie for reforms that elevate the role of student learning in educator evaluations and fairly and transparently assess teacher and principal performance. The Task Force will develop a system of evaluations and definitions of educator effectiveness based on multiple measurements of student learning that will comprise at least 50% of the evaluation. The Task Force is set to report its findings in March 2011.
Governor Christie has been clear that children stuck in chronically failing schools can no longer wait for help. He will use every existing authority to deliver relief and work with the Legislature to achieve needed additional reforms. In January, the Christie Administration approved 23 new charter schools, the largest