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New Jersey's Revised State Plan

On August 16, 2006 the U.S. Department of Education released initial peer review feedback and related information on revised comprehensive state plans for ensuring that all public elementary and secondary school students are taught by highly qualified teachers. The 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico submitted plans as required under the No Child Left Behind Act. Scored against protocols containing six requirements provided to states in March, the plans outline the bold new steps that states will take to reach the 100 percent highly qualified teacher goal by the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Nine states developed plans that were recognized by a 31 member team of experts as satisfying all six criteria. These are New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kansas, Maryland and Nevada. Thirty-nine states submitted plans that partially satisfy the six components and will be required to improve these plans and address the peer concerns by Sept. 29, 2006. However, four states did not address any of the six requirements. For these four states—Hawaii, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin—revised plans are due November 1, 2006.

ECS collected state plan information and reviewer comments directly from revised state plans and from the peer review response forms. The purpose of this tool is to organize and streamline this extensive content in order to allow states to search, review and reference successful examples of state plans. Although no information has been paraphrased, the order of some plans has been rearranged and some data and specific information has been abbreviated. All abbreviations or informational reorganizations have been given a note with an explanation and a link to the full state plan. This resource will be most useful if used in conjunction with original state plans.

Please feel free to contact Angela Baber, ababer@ecs.org, with questions, comments, or changes to this information.

To access the plans and peer review responses, visit the U.S. Department of Education site at http://www.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2006/08/08162006a.html and click on state plans.

New Jersey
State Plans to Meet the HQT Goal Mandated by NCLB
State Plan Introduction and/or Background In an article in the June 13 edition of Education Daily entitled "Teacher Allocation Impacts Long-term Commitment," Kati Haycock, Director of Education Trust said about staffing patterns, "these patterns have existed for years. What's important is that this is the first time anybody has demanded changes to these patterns." The staffing patterns or norms in high poverty schools that perpetuate failure do not respond to quick fixes or superficial treatment. To change a norm, there needs to be detailed school-level analysis, clear descriptions of the obstacles to success, and a total long-term commitment to change.

Efforts to improve the quality of the teaching force and attend to the needs of students in high poverty schools are hindered by the emerging teacher shortage, particularly in areas such as mathematics, science, and special education. High-need urban school districts often compete with wealthier suburban school districts for a smaller pool of highly qualified candidates for these positions. Even when high-need districts are able to hire appropriately certified staff, it is often difficult to retain those same teachers. Research continues to indicate that teachers have one of the highest attrition rates of any profession. Daniel Heller, author of Teachers Wanted: Attracting and Retaining Good Teachers, describes this situation as a catch-22, "we are desperate for people to enter a profession with standards that are increasingly difficult to meet, has ever-expanding duties, and can easily crush the idealism of a new member."

It is clear that the single most important thing we can do to help students achieve is to ensure that every student in every class is instructed by a highly qualified teacher. New Jersey's plan addresses that goal through a series of interconnected initiatives that focus on the teaching continuum:

  • Teacher preparation;
  • Induction and mentoring;
  • Recruitment, hiring, and retention;
  • Professional growth;
  • Effective leadership; and
  • Working conditions that support teaching and learning.
The plan examines teacher quality through each of these lenses, noting that many initiatives address multiple goals and outcomes.

New Jersey is a small state geographically but a large state in terms of student population, the number of independent school districts (over 600 districts and charter schools), the diverse size and scope of school districts, and the diversity of its student population. The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is organized to respond to the needs of such a diverse state. Each of New Jersey's 21 counties has a county office of education lead by a county superintendent, who serves as the commissioner of education's designee. The county offices address numerous accountability activities and serve as the first line of support and assistance for local school districts. It is important to note, however, that each school district within that county has its own superintendent and administrative staff as well as its own board of education that is responsible for policy development and implementation. County offices of education do not provide direct services to local school districts and have limited authority based on regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education. Fostering change in New Jersey's schools is difficult, at best, simply because of the tremendous amount of flexibility these local boards of education have to hire teachers and administrators, to negotiate collective bargaining agreements, and to implement local programs.

It is well known, however, that New Jersey has a long-standing commitment to improving student achievement in the state's high poverty, low achieving schools. The state has made unprecedented efforts to support the "Abbott" school districts-those 31 school districts identified as most in need of additional resources to improve student achievement. Special attention to those districts, and the schools within them, has resulted in some success but much remains to be done to ensure that all students achieve at high levels and are taught by highly qualified teachers. The requirements set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) required the department to provide increased oversight for these districts and schools, as well as those districts and schools not designated as Abbott districts but nonetheless struggling to support improved student achievement. By gauging achievement of Annual Yearly Progress, (AYP) New Jersey has identified another subset of its schools that needs increased support and assistance to improve student achievement. Taken together, the NJDOE has devised multiple means to assess factors that contribute to student success. This report focuses on one aspect of that assessment, teacher quality, and more specifically, it focuses on highly qualified teachers and on those districts and schools that have repeatedly not made AYP.

To develop this plan, the department's Office of Academic and Professional Standards engaged representatives from various offices and divisions at the NJDOE in a dialogue about teacher quality. Clearly, teacher quality is an issue for every office and unit. The process used to develop this report required each office to identify activities that support one or more of the issues identified as part of the "teaching continuum." Program specialists were asked to look at office activities through a teacher quality lens and respond to these questions:

  1. What specific programs or activities in your office or unit might contribute to the department's highly qualified teacher plan? How have these programs or activities improved teacher quality?
  2. What data does your office have available that might support the department's HQT plan?
  3. What funding sources have been used to support these activities and programs?
The information gathered during this process reaffirmed the department's commitment to teacher quality. As a result, the department will establish a new Interdivisional Committee on Teacher Quality, an extension of this initial working group that will become a new partner in promoting and supporting student achievement. This new group will serve as an adjunct to existing NCLB work groups and focus specifically on issues of teacher quality. The committee will continue the dialogue initiated for this plan and serve as the department's policy group for future reform.

(pages 1-2) 

Revised Plan Status
  • Accepted
  •  
    Comments to Support Determination New Jersey met each of the six requirements. 
    Link to Full Revised State Plan for Meeting the HQT Goal in NCLB on the U.S. Department of Education Site The State Department of Education has made the NCLB revised plans, as well as reviewer comments, available online for each state.

    New Jersey's Revised Plan

    New Jersey's Plan—Reviewer Comments  

    Revised State Plans-Requirement 1
    Requirement 1 The revised plan must provide a detailed analysis of the core academic subject classes in the State that are currently not being taught by highly qualified teachers. The analysis must, in particular, address schools that are not making adequate yearly progress and whether or not these schools have more acute needs than do other schools in attracting highly qualified teachers. The analysis must also identify the districts and schools around the State where significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQT standards, and examine whether or not there are particular hard-to-staff courses frequently taught by non-highly qualified teachers.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 1 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative New Jersey has several major databases that enable the state to produce detailed analyses of classes taught by non-HQTs, disaggregated by poverty status of school, grade level, and subject. The report also includes an appendix that presents classes taught by non-HQTs by district across core subject areas, and identifies New Jersey’s 31 Abbott districts (high-poverty districts most in need of additional resources to raise student achievement), as well as districts with schools in years 3, 4, or 5 of AYP. Although the report does not present analyses of school-level data, it is clear from the descriptions of the SEA’s data systems that New Jersey has the capacity to do so. New Jersey’s Certificated Staff Report, for example, “is a statewide, school-based data collection system that includes every teacher, his/her certification, class assignments, and HQT status,” as well as the grade-level teaching assignment of each teacher (p. 6). The report identifies groups of teachers that will require particular state attention, noting that “at this time, the greatest challenge facing the state is in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers in the areas of special education, bilingual/English as a Second Language, mathematics, and science” (p. 7). 
    Requirement 1-a Does the revised plan include an analysis of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified? Is the analysis based on accurate classroom level data?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-a The 2006 New Jersey Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) Survey presents solid evidence that the state is making significant progress toward ensuring that 100 percent of public school teachers are highly qualified. According to the state’s most recent survey, only 4 percent of New Jersey’s public school classes are not being taught by a highly qualified teacher. The overall percent of classes not taught by a highly qualified teacher in this third survey shows a decrease of 2.4 percentage points from 2005 (4.1 percent for 2006 compared to 6.5 percent for 2005). However, the 2006 data shows a significant and dramatic decrease in the percent of high-poverty classes not taught by highly qualified teachers. Moreover, this decrease has resulted in a dramatic narrowing of the gap between high-poverty and low-poverty classes taught by highly qualified teachers. In 2005, there existed a 10 percentage point gap between high-poverty and low-poverty classes not taught by a highly qualified teacher (13.7 percent for high-poverty classes versus 3.7 percent for low-poverty classes). By 2006, the percent of all classrooms in the high-poverty category not taught by a highly qualified teacher decreased to 8.3 percent from 13.7 percent reflecting a 5.4 percentage point decrease. Also in 2006, the percent of elementary K-8, high-poverty classes not taught by a highly qualified teacher decreased 6 percentage points to 9.1 percent from 15.1 percent. Moreover, the number of high-poverty secondary classes not taught by a highly qualified teacher decreased to 6.4 percent from 9.2 percent. The percent decrease from 2005 to 2006 for low-poverty classes not taught by a highly qualified teacher was modest in comparison to the high-poverty classes. The number of elementary classes not being taught by a highly qualified teacher decreased 1.2 percentage points (from 4.1 percent to 2.9 percent). The decrease at the secondary level is slightly higher at 1.7 percentage points (from 3.3 percent to 1.6 percent). The NCLB Act requires states to report data to the public annually on the number of classes in the public schools that are taught by a highly qualified teacher. In order to be deemed highly qualified, a teacher must have a bachelor’s degree, a standard certification for which no requirements have been waived, and documentation of content area expertise in each subject taught. States have until 2006 to reach 100 percent compliance with the HQT provisions. Please see Table 1 for New Jersey’s 2006 data.

    Table 1: 2005-2006 Federal Report
    Percentage of Classes Not Taught By Highly Qualified Teachers
    Data Collected Fall 2005

    Classes not taught by highly qualified teachers (percent)High-Poverty (percent)Low-Poverty (percent)
    All Classrooms
    4.1
    9.3
    2.3
    Elementary (K-8)
    4.4
    9.1
    2.9
    Secondary (9-12)
    3.5
    6.4
    1.6

    The 2005-2006 survey was compiled from the Certificated Staff Report completed in the autumn of 2005. This is a statewide, school-based data collection system that includes every teacher, his/her certification, class assignments, and HQT status. This method of collecting information is an improvement over the HQT survey conducted in 2003-2004, because it focuses on individual teacher information by school. The 2003-2004 survey was a summary of HQT status prepared by the district for each school. It did not include individual teacher information. Another advantage in using the information from the Certificated Staff Report is that the survey provides the grade-level teaching assignment of teachers. This is especially important in defining elementary and middle-level teachers, a chief component of the NCLB reporting requirements.

    Based on the two different methods of collecting the 2004 and the 2005 teacher and class information, it was difficult to make comparisons over the two years in specific content areas. However, the 2005 and 2006 surveys are aligned and allow comparisons. Please see Table 2 for 2005 data.

    Table 2: 2004-2005
    Percentage of Classes Not Taught By Highly Qualified Teachers
    Data Collected Fall 2004

    Classes not taught by highly qualifiedteachers (percent)High-Poverty (percent)Low-Poverty (percent)
    All Classrooms
    6.5
    13.7
    3.7
    Elementary (K-8)
    7.5
    15.1
    4.1
    Secondary (9-12)
    4.8
    9.2
    3.3

     
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-a See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-b Does the analysis focus on the staffing needs of school that are not making AYP? Do these schools have high percentages of classes taught by teachers who are not highly qualified? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-b See APPENDIX B.*
    Spreadsheets of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers by district level across core subjects noting school designations and AYP status. 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-b See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-c Does the analysis identify particular groups of teachers to which the State's plan must pay particular attention, such as special education teachers, mathematics or science teachers, or multi-subject teachers in rural schools? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-c Depending on the grade level taught, there are variations in the 2006 statewide percentage of teachers who meet the highly qualified teacher definition (as found in Table 3 below). At the elementary level where all classes are self-contained (Kindergarten to grade 5), 3.3 percent of the teachers do not meet the definition of highly qualified. At the middle and high school levels where all classes are departmentalized (students have different teachers for different subjects), 4.6 percent of the teachers at the middle school level, grades 6, 7, and 8, and 3.7 percent of the teachers at the secondary level, grades 9 through 12, are not highly qualified. At this time, the greatest challenge facing the state is in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers in the areas of special education, bilingual/English as a Second Language, mathematics, and science.

    Table 3: 2006 Highly Qualified Teacher Survey
    Percentage of Teachers Not Highly Qualified
    All Subjects Taught

    Type Of SchoolPercentage Not Highly Qualified
    Elementary School (K-5)
    3.3
    Middle School (6-8)
    4.6
    High School (9-12)
    3.7

     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-c See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-d Does the analysis identify districts and schools around the State where significant numbers of teachers do not meet HQT standards? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-d The HQT survey was collected for all schools statewide and has been disaggregated by high-poverty and low-poverty schools. High-poverty is defined as the 25 percent of the schools in the state with the largest percentage of students eligible for free or reduced lunch. Low-poverty is defined as the 25 percent of schools in the state with the smallest percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch.

    Data in Table 4 (below) show that for all three grade level configurations, low-poverty schools have the greatest percentage of highly qualified teachers. At the low-poverty/elementary level the percentage of teachers that are not highly qualified is 2.2 percent, while it is 6.5 percent in high-poverty schools. At the low-poverty/middle level the percentage of teachers not highly qualified is 3.3, while it is 10.3 percent in high-poverty schools. At the low-poverty/high school level, the percentage of teachers not highly qualified is 1.6 percent, whereas it is 6.7 percent in high-poverty schools.

    Table 4: 2006 Highly Qualified Teacher Survey
    Percentage and Numbers of Teachers Not Highly Qualified
    All Subjects Taught

    Elementary Schools Middle Schools Secondary Schools
    # of Teachers Percent Not HQ # of Teachers Percent Not HQ # of Teachers Percent Not HQ
    All Schools
    50,514
    3.3
    20,134
    4.6
    26,374
    3.7
    High-Poverty Schools
    15,245
    6.5
    4444
    10.3
    4517
    6.7
    Low-Poverty Schools
    10,691
    2.2
    4893
    3.3
    7734
    1.6

     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-d See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Requirement 1-e Does the analysis identify particular courses that are often taught by non-highly qualified teachers?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 1-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 1-e Classes in Elementary Schools

    Table 5 provides information about classes taught by HQT at the elementary level. Overall, 3.1 percent of general education teachers in self-contained classes do not meet the definition, compared with 5.8 percent in high-poverty schools and 1.9 percent in low-poverty schools. There exists a variation in the percentage of specialty area classes taught by highly qualified teachers. For example, in world languages, 7.4 percent of all world language classes are not taught by HQT, while 11.5 percent of classes in high-poverty schools and 6 percent of classes in low poverty schools are taught by HQT. Among self-contained special education classes and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in high poverty schools, 17.7 percent and 12.4 percent respectively are not taught by HQT, significantly higher than other academic subject classes.

    Table 5: 2006 Highly Qualified Teacher Survey
    Percentage of Classes Not Taught by a Highly Qualified Teacher
    Elementary School

    General Ed. Basic Skills English Basic Skills Math Arts World Language Special Education Self-Contained Special Education Resource ESL All Classes
    All Schools
    3.1
    1.9
    0.9
    2.6
    7.4
    10.2
    3.1
    9.0
    4.5
    High-Poverty Schools
    5.8
    2.6
    1.2
    4.2
    11.5
    17.7
    10.0
    12.4
    8.6
    Low-Poverty Schools
    1.9
    2.5
    0.9
    2.4
    6.0
    7.1
    1.4
    2.1
    2.7

    Classes in Departmentalized Middle Schools

    In Table 6, data for departmentalized middle school classes show that, statewide, the percent of classes not taught by HQT varies from 1.7 percent in the arts to 10.7 percent in special education self-contained classes. The percentage of language arts and social studies classes taught by HQT is slightly higher than the percentage of mathematics and science classes taught by HQT. High-poverty schools show a higher percentage of classes not taught by HQT, with 6.3 percent in social studies, 9.9 percent in mathematics, 12.4 percent in world languages, 23 percent in special education self-contained classes, 16.5 percent in special education resource room replacement, and 15 percent in math basic skills. It is important to note that the federal law imposed new requirements for middle school and special education teachers to have specific content expertise in all subjects taught and that many teachers are currently working to complete the HQT requirements.

    See the full report for Table 6, "The 2006 Highly Qualified Teacher Survey Percentage of Classes Not Taught by a Highly Qualified Teacher: Middle School."

    Classes in High Schools

    Data in Table 7 report the classes not taught by HQT at the high school level. Statewide, the percentage of content area classes not taught by HQT ranges from 1.5 percent in the social studies to 12.1 percent in special education self-contained. Special education teachers in a self-contained setting are responsible for teaching several high school-level subjects. The difficulty of achieving expertise in many content areas is reflected in the data reported. The variation in the data between high-poverty and low-poverty schools is consistent with the variations found with the elementary and middle school levels in Tables 5 and 6.

    See the full report for Table 7, "The 2006 Highly Qualified Teacher Survey Percentage of Classes Not Taught by a Highly Qualified Teacher: High School"

    The New Jersey Department of Education will complete its fourth HQT survey in October 2006. The state will monitor the progress of districts and schools in decreasing the number of teachers who do not satisfy the federal definition. The 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 School Report Cards include information about the HQT requirement.

    Source: NJDOE 2004-2005 Report Card


     

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 1-e See overall peer review response for Requirement 1. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 2
    Requirement 2 The revised plan must provide information on HQT status in each LEA and the steps the SEA will take to ensure that each LEA has plans in place to assist teachers who are not highly qualified to attain HQT status as quickly as possible.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 2 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative An appendix in the report identifies all LEAs in which less than 100 percent of core classes are taught by HQTs. The SEA annually identifies all districts and schools that employ teachers who do not meet the federal definition of a highly qualified teacher. Each LEA is required to develop and implement a district HQT plan that identifies non-highly qualified teachers and their current assignments, with a description of the steps that the LEA is taking to help them become highly qualified. The report lists a number of steps that the SEA is taking to ensure that LEAs are helping teachers become HQ as quickly as possible: “Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan” (p. 14).  
    Requirement 2-a Does the plan identify LEAs that have not met annual measurable objectives for HQT?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-a Identification of LEAs Not Meeting the Highly Qualified Teacher Requirement

    The New Jersey Department of Education annually identifies all school districts and schools who employ teachers who have not yet met the federal definition of a highly qualified teacher. The Office of Licensing and Credentials works closely with the county offices of education to verify the information submitted as part of the Certificated Staff Report. This Matrix provides important information about schools and teachers and enables the department to take specific actions to ensure that appropriately certified individuals are employed by districts. Please see the appendix for more details.* 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-a See overall peer review response for Requirement 2. 
    Requirement 2-b Does the plan include specific steps that will be taken by LEAs that have not met annual measurable objectives?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-b Developing District Plans for Meeting the Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements

    In a June 2006 memo from New Jersey’s Acting Commissioner of Education, all school districts were informed that they will be required to develop and implement a plan to assure that all teachers teaching core academic subjects are highly qualified by the end of the 2006-2007 school year. The plan must identify all teachers who are not yet highly qualified and the steps that the district and its schools will take to support teacher efforts to reach highly qualified status. School districts which have already met 100 percent compliance will still be required to submit a plan to show how the district will sustain efforts to recruit and retain highly qualified and experienced teachers. The required needs assessment and action plan will also serve as evidence for the district’s self-assessment as part of NJQSAC.

    On a yearly basis, districts will be required to identify the certification and qualification status of all teaching staff members. Using that data, districts will be required to develop a district HQT plan based on a NJDOE template (provided in the appendix) which asks districts to:

    • Conduct a district-level needs assessment which identifies existing gaps in core academic areas including teaching vacancies that the district has not been able to fill with highly qualified teachers. The report identifies the number and percentage of teachers not highly qualified and classes not taught by highly qualified teachers;
    • Identify all teachers not meeting the highly qualified definition and their current assignments as well as steps to be taken to help them achieve highly qualified status;
    • Identify key areas of need for highly qualified teachers across the district by subject area/specialty area and assignment and target support to specific audiences of teachers;
    • Describe district actions to ensure that all teachers become highly qualified;
    • Delineate strategies to ensure the equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers across all schools in the district;
    • Outline district actions to ensure that district level policies and procedures ensure that only highly qualified teachers are hired;
    • Describe district actions to ensure that highly qualified teachers are retained; and
    • Provide a statement of assurance that all federal and state requirements regarding the highly qualified provisions of NCLB have been met.
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-b See overall peer review response for Requirement 2. 
    Requirement 2-c Does the plan delineate specific steps the SEA will take to ensure that all LEAs have plans in place to assist all non-HQ teachers to become HQ as quickly as possible?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 2-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 2-c State Actions to Assist LEAS in Meeting the Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements

    Since the inception of the highly qualified teacher requirements of NCLB, the NJDOE has made ongoing and comprehensive efforts to assure that all LEAs have a clear understanding of the highly qualified teacher requirements and that districts understand how to support all teachers in core academic subjects to meet the requirements. New Jersey provides targeted regional and district-based technical assistance sessions, along with a hotline and email address dedicated to highly qualified teacher issues and inquiries. The department has a website with online access to all state and federal communications and tools, and regularly communicates with the field about policy issues and federal guidelines. In addition, the department has developed a highly qualified teacher manual for school district staff providing information to support all teachers to determine their highly qualified status. The guide, available in print and online, is updated annually. As evidence of the department’s commitment, the NJDOE has provided over 500 technical assistance and training sessions on the highly qualified teacher requirement. These sessions have been offered in every region of the state and in all counties, with targeted district level assistance to all large high poverty districts. The technical assistance sessions:

    • Helped districts understand the process to determine a teacher’s highly qualified status and how to utilize tools developed to streamline that process;
    • Provided assistance to resolve specific highly qualified teacher issues including the appropriate use of the NJ HOUSE;
    • Assisted districts with the State Certificated Staff Report;
    • Helped districts interpret state highly qualified staff reports;
    • Identified appropriate strategies to help teachers become highly qualified;
    • Directed districts to utilize state and regional professional development options, including online courses and tutorials, to help teachers become highly qualified;
    • Provided guidance on federal highly qualified requirements; and
    • Provided guidance for districts in research-based strategies to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers.

    New Jersey takes seriously its state role in providing both support for and accountability from LEAs in assuring that their teachers meet the highly qualified teacher requirement. To that end, New Jersey requires that all districts annually identify the highly qualified status of every teacher in their assignment or content area through New Jersey’s State Certificated Staff Report. This report provides a comprehensive portrait of an individual teacher’s preparation, areas of certification, highly qualified status in the core content classes he/she teaches, and identification of national board certification, if achieved. This report is a key state data sources used to generate the state-wide New Jersey Report Card, giving parents, community members, district personnel, and the public at-large important information about student achievement and teacher quality. (Please see the sample New Jersey Report Card in Appendix D.)*

    Using State Data to Inform State Actions to Support Highly Qualified Teacher Initiative

    New Jersey uses the highly qualified teacher data from the State Certificated Staff Report, CAPA site visit reports and recommendations, and other relevant NCLB data collections to inform technical assistance to the field. This information also plays a critical role in state level needs assessment for policies and programs in teacher recruitment and retention, preparation, and professional development. Through an in-depth analysis of this data, the department is able to identify all districts and/or schools whose teachers have not yet met the highly qualified teacher designation for the classes they teach. These districts are then targeted for more intensive technical assistance to help them implement strategies to help teachers meet the highly qualified teacher requirement.

    The department identifies specific subject/assignment areas in which there is a critical need for experienced and highly qualified teachers and then targets professional development and technical assistance for those areas of need. Professional development opportunities that target areas of need are made available for schools, district, counties, and regions to support teachers to attain highly qualified status in these areas. For example, the NJDOE has made a concerted effort to provide professional development opportunities for teachers of students with disabilities and limited English proficient students as well as teachers of mathematics, science, and world languages. These opportunities include one- and two-day intensive institutes, online credit bearing courses and tutorials, and school-site consultation and training. These strategies are outlined in the equity plan provided later in this document.

    The data informs the department’s study of policy options and strategies to help recruit and retain teachers in these critical areas of need. In addition, this data informs the development of state level teacher quality policies. As a result of this information, several policy groups will continue to examine teacher quality issues including:

    • A Teacher Quality Taskforce will make policy recommendations in the key areas of teacher development, support, retention, and leadership;
    • A Special Education Taskforce will address policies specific to the preparation, recruitment, and retention of special education teachers, an area of critical need in New Jersey;
    • A new Higher Education Council will oversee program approval and teacher education policy issues; and
    • An Interdivisional Teacher Quality Council will serve as an adjunct to existing NJDOE-NCLB work groups and will address teacher practice and school district support and accountability.

    New Jersey’s comprehensive efforts to improve teacher quality and ensure all teachers are highly qualified are dealt with in depth in the equity plan strategies presented later in this document.  

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 2-c See overall peer review response for Requirement 2. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 3
    Requirement 3 The revised plan must include information on the technical assistance, programs, and services that the SEA will offer to assist LEAs in successfully completing their HQT plans, particularly where large groups of teachers are not highly qualified, and the resources the LEAs will use to meet their HQT goals.  
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 3 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Comments to Support Determination Refer to sub-requirement responses.  
    Requirement 3-a Does the plan include a description of the technical assistance the SEA will provide to assist LEAs in successfully carrying out their HQT plans?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-a The NJDOE has provided ongoing and sustained technical assistance and guidance to all New Jersey school districts in order to support districts and teachers in meeting the federal highly qualified requirements. Those supports included:
    • Multiple regional trainings which took place in the Fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005;
    • Targeted training and guidance sessions in high-poverty, low-performing districts where teachers are working to meet the HQT requirements;
    • Ongoing train-the-trainer sessions for county office of education staff who provide technical assistance to local school districts;
    • Individual conferencing with teachers through a dedicated phone line and e-mail account (answered over 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years); and
    • Additional regional trainings (Winter 2006) on the requirements of NCLB with specific emphasis on the highly qualified provisions of the law, targeting all districts that were below 90 percent compliance with the federal requirement.
    Beginning in November 2006, all districts will be required to submit district plans providing the steps the district will take to ensure that it is tracking and supporting teachers to attain highly qualified status. The plans will also describe a district's hiring needs and where it has filled staff vacancies with the most qualified applicant who is not yet highly qualified. As described in New Jersey's response to Requirement Two, district HQ plans must identify all teachers who have not yet met the requirement and the specific strategies the district will employ to assist those teachers in becoming highly qualified. Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan.

    The NJDOE has analyzed the data on highly qualified teachers captured in New Jersey's Certificated Staff Report as well as specific NCLB data from schools and districts identified in need of improvement. All districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will receive targeted assistance. The chart that follows lays out the department's action plan.

    TimelineTargeted AudienceActivityResponsible PartyAnticipated Outcomes
    June/July 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Acting Commissioner regarding new highly qualified teacher requirements Office of Academic and Professional StandardsIncreased awareness on new procedures and issues including hiring issues, district reporting, changes to HOUSE, and LEA plans
    June 2006-ongoingIdentified school districts Review and analysis of licensing records and current teacher assignments Office of Licensing and Credentials County offices of education Identification of out-of-field placements; teachers without proper certification or incomplete certification; Appropriate actions to reassign identified staff
    Summer 2006County superintendents, education specialists, and certification specialistsTargeted training: federal guidance for HQT requirements; state equity plan and the district plan NJDOE Offices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE teacher recruitment specialistCounty office staff will fully understand new federal and state HQT requirements and will be able to assist districts with mandated plan
    September 2006Districts that received training in Winter 2006 that continue to fall below 100 percent compliance and have entered into Year 3, 4 or 5 of AYP status Training: recruitment, retention, incentives equitable distribution of HQT and highly experienced teachers Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialist Improved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    September 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Commissioner outlining LEA planning process for equitable distribution of highly qualified teachersOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsImproved HQT data collection and increased efforts to assist all teachers in core content areas needing to become highly qualified
    Fall 2006Identified districts who have not meet requirementsRegional full day trainings to assist LEAs to develop strategies on recruitment, retention and incentives for ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified and highly experienced teachersOffices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials Title I; and Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialistImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    Fall 2006High-poverty, low-achieving districts below 90 percent compliance and with schools in Year 4 and 5 AYPDistrict interventions and site visits to assist districts to develop highly qualified teacher plans NJDOE staff who can address specified areas of needImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies
    OngoingAll teachers and districts
    General public
    Higher education
    Continuation of a dedicated phone line and e-mail address to provide specific assistance for individual problemsOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsTimely responses to inquiries that will improve understanding of strategies to become highly qualified; identification of specific issues based on frequency of inquiries and improved responses

    (This information overlaps with all sub-requirements for Requirement 3.) 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-a The report describes a wide range of technical assistance and support that the SEA has provided to help districts carry out their HQT plans, including providing more than 500 technical assistance and training sessions on the HQT requirement (p.11) and answering more than 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years (p.14). 
    Requirement 3-b Does the plan indicate that the staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP will be given high priority?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-b The NJDOE has provided ongoing and sustained technical assistance and guidance to all New Jersey school districts in order to support districts and teachers in meeting the federal highly qualified requirements. Those supports included:
    • Multiple regional trainings which took place in the Fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005;
    • Targeted training and guidance sessions in high-poverty, low-performing districts where teachers are working to meet the HQT requirements;
    • Ongoing train-the-trainer sessions for county office of education staff who provide technical assistance to local school districts;
    • Individual conferencing with teachers through a dedicated phone line and e-mail account (answered over 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years); and
    • Additional regional trainings (Winter 2006) on the requirements of NCLB with specific emphasis on the highly qualified provisions of the law, targeting all districts that were below 90 percent compliance with the federal requirement.
    Beginning in November 2006, all districts will be required to submit district plans providing the steps the district will take to ensure that it is tracking and supporting teachers to attain highly qualified status. The plans will also describe a district's hiring needs and where it has filled staff vacancies with the most qualified applicant who is not yet highly qualified. As described in New Jersey's response to Requirement Two, district HQ plans must identify all teachers who have not yet met the requirement and the specific strategies the district will employ to assist those teachers in becoming highly qualified. Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan.

    The NJDOE has analyzed the data on highly qualified teachers captured in New Jersey's Certificated Staff Report as well as specific NCLB data from schools and districts identified in need of improvement. All districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will receive targeted assistance. The chart that follows lays out the department's action plan.

    TimelineTargeted AudienceActivityResponsible PartyAnticipated Outcomes
    June/July 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Acting Commissioner regarding new highly qualified teacher requirements Office of Academic and Professional StandardsIncreased awareness on new procedures and issues including hiring issues, district reporting, changes to HOUSE, and LEA plans
    June 2006-ongoingIdentified school districts Review and analysis of licensing records and current teacher assignments Office of Licensing and Credentials County offices of education Identification of out-of-field placements; teachers without proper certification or incomplete certification; Appropriate actions to reassign identified staff
    Summer 2006County superintendents, education specialists, and certification specialistsTargeted training: federal guidance for HQT requirements; state equity plan and the district plan NJDOE Offices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE teacher recruitment specialistCounty office staff will fully understand new federal and state HQT requirements and will be able to assist districts with mandated plan
    September 2006Districts that received training in Winter 2006 that continue to fall below 100 percent compliance and have entered into Year 3, 4 or 5 of AYP status Training: recruitment, retention, incentives equitable distribution of HQT and highly experienced teachers Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialist Improved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    September 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Commissioner outlining LEA planning process for equitable distribution of highly qualified teachersOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsImproved HQT data collection and increased efforts to assist all teachers in core content areas needing to become highly qualified
    Fall 2006Identified districts who have not meet requirementsRegional full day trainings to assist LEAs to develop strategies on recruitment, retention and incentives for ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified and highly experienced teachersOffices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials Title I; and Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialistImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    Fall 2006High-poverty, low-achieving districts below 90 percent compliance and with schools in Year 4 and 5 AYPDistrict interventions and site visits to assist districts to develop highly qualified teacher plans NJDOE staff who can address specified areas of needImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies
    OngoingAll teachers and districts
    General public
    Higher education
    Continuation of a dedicated phone line and e-mail address to provide specific assistance for individual problemsOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsTimely responses to inquiries that will improve understanding of strategies to become highly qualified; identification of specific issues based on frequency of inquiries and improved responses

    (This information overlaps with all sub-requirements for Requirement 3.) 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-b The report indicates that staffing and professional development needs of schools not making AYP are given priority in a number of ways. For example, “all districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will received targeted assistance,” including district interventions and site visits (pp. 14, 16). 
    Requirement 3-c Does the plan include a description of programs and services the SEA will provide to assist teachers and LEAs in successfully meeting HQT goals?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-c The NJDOE has provided ongoing and sustained technical assistance and guidance to all New Jersey school districts in order to support districts and teachers in meeting the federal highly qualified requirements. Those supports included:
    • Multiple regional trainings which took place in the Fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005;
    • Targeted training and guidance sessions in high-poverty, low-performing districts where teachers are working to meet the HQT requirements;
    • Ongoing train-the-trainer sessions for county office of education staff who provide technical assistance to local school districts;
    • Individual conferencing with teachers through a dedicated phone line and e-mail account (answered over 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years); and
    • Additional regional trainings (Winter 2006) on the requirements of NCLB with specific emphasis on the highly qualified provisions of the law, targeting all districts that were below 90 percent compliance with the federal requirement.
    Beginning in November 2006, all districts will be required to submit district plans providing the steps the district will take to ensure that it is tracking and supporting teachers to attain highly qualified status. The plans will also describe a district's hiring needs and where it has filled staff vacancies with the most qualified applicant who is not yet highly qualified. As described in New Jersey's response to Requirement Two, district HQ plans must identify all teachers who have not yet met the requirement and the specific strategies the district will employ to assist those teachers in becoming highly qualified. Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan.

    The NJDOE has analyzed the data on highly qualified teachers captured in New Jersey's Certificated Staff Report as well as specific NCLB data from schools and districts identified in need of improvement. All districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will receive targeted assistance. The chart that follows lays out the department's action plan.

    TimelineTargeted AudienceActivityResponsible PartyAnticipated Outcomes
    June/July 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Acting Commissioner regarding new highly qualified teacher requirements Office of Academic and Professional StandardsIncreased awareness on new procedures and issues including hiring issues, district reporting, changes to HOUSE, and LEA plans
    June 2006-ongoingIdentified school districts Review and analysis of licensing records and current teacher assignments Office of Licensing and Credentials County offices of education Identification of out-of-field placements; teachers without proper certification or incomplete certification; Appropriate actions to reassign identified staff
    Summer 2006County superintendents, education specialists, and certification specialistsTargeted training: federal guidance for HQT requirements; state equity plan and the district plan NJDOE Offices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE teacher recruitment specialistCounty office staff will fully understand new federal and state HQT requirements and will be able to assist districts with mandated plan
    September 2006Districts that received training in Winter 2006 that continue to fall below 100 percent compliance and have entered into Year 3, 4 or 5 of AYP status Training: recruitment, retention, incentives equitable distribution of HQT and highly experienced teachers Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialist Improved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    September 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Commissioner outlining LEA planning process for equitable distribution of highly qualified teachersOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsImproved HQT data collection and increased efforts to assist all teachers in core content areas needing to become highly qualified
    Fall 2006Identified districts who have not meet requirementsRegional full day trainings to assist LEAs to develop strategies on recruitment, retention and incentives for ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified and highly experienced teachersOffices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials Title I; and Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialistImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    Fall 2006High-poverty, low-achieving districts below 90 percent compliance and with schools in Year 4 and 5 AYPDistrict interventions and site visits to assist districts to develop highly qualified teacher plans NJDOE staff who can address specified areas of needImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies
    OngoingAll teachers and districts
    General public
    Higher education
    Continuation of a dedicated phone line and e-mail address to provide specific assistance for individual problemsOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsTimely responses to inquiries that will improve understanding of strategies to become highly qualified; identification of specific issues based on frequency of inquiries and improved responses

    (This information overlaps with all sub-requirements for Requirement 3.) 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-c The report includes a comprehensive state action plan that includes a wide range of technical assistance, programs, and services to support LEAs. Activities are targeted to different audiences of districts, administrators, and practitioners throughout the year to help LEAs meet the 2006-07 HQT deadline (pp. 15-16). 
    Requirement 3-d Does the plan specifically address the needs of any subgroups of teachers identified in Requirement 1?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-d The NJDOE has provided ongoing and sustained technical assistance and guidance to all New Jersey school districts in order to support districts and teachers in meeting the federal highly qualified requirements. Those supports included:
    • Multiple regional trainings which took place in the Fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005;
    • Targeted training and guidance sessions in high-poverty, low-performing districts where teachers are working to meet the HQT requirements;
    • Ongoing train-the-trainer sessions for county office of education staff who provide technical assistance to local school districts;
    • Individual conferencing with teachers through a dedicated phone line and e-mail account (answered over 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years); and
    • Additional regional trainings (Winter 2006) on the requirements of NCLB with specific emphasis on the highly qualified provisions of the law, targeting all districts that were below 90 percent compliance with the federal requirement.
    Beginning in November 2006, all districts will be required to submit district plans providing the steps the district will take to ensure that it is tracking and supporting teachers to attain highly qualified status. The plans will also describe a district's hiring needs and where it has filled staff vacancies with the most qualified applicant who is not yet highly qualified. As described in New Jersey's response to Requirement Two, district HQ plans must identify all teachers who have not yet met the requirement and the specific strategies the district will employ to assist those teachers in becoming highly qualified. Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan.

    The NJDOE has analyzed the data on highly qualified teachers captured in New Jersey's Certificated Staff Report as well as specific NCLB data from schools and districts identified in need of improvement. All districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will receive targeted assistance. The chart that follows lays out the department's action plan.

    TimelineTargeted AudienceActivityResponsible PartyAnticipated Outcomes
    June/July 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Acting Commissioner regarding new highly qualified teacher requirements Office of Academic and Professional StandardsIncreased awareness on new procedures and issues including hiring issues, district reporting, changes to HOUSE, and LEA plans
    June 2006-ongoingIdentified school districts Review and analysis of licensing records and current teacher assignments Office of Licensing and Credentials County offices of education Identification of out-of-field placements; teachers without proper certification or incomplete certification; Appropriate actions to reassign identified staff
    Summer 2006County superintendents, education specialists, and certification specialistsTargeted training: federal guidance for HQT requirements; state equity plan and the district plan NJDOE Offices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE teacher recruitment specialistCounty office staff will fully understand new federal and state HQT requirements and will be able to assist districts with mandated plan
    September 2006Districts that received training in Winter 2006 that continue to fall below 100 percent compliance and have entered into Year 3, 4 or 5 of AYP status Training: recruitment, retention, incentives equitable distribution of HQT and highly experienced teachers Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialist Improved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    September 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Commissioner outlining LEA planning process for equitable distribution of highly qualified teachersOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsImproved HQT data collection and increased efforts to assist all teachers in core content areas needing to become highly qualified
    Fall 2006Identified districts who have not meet requirementsRegional full day trainings to assist LEAs to develop strategies on recruitment, retention and incentives for ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified and highly experienced teachersOffices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials Title I; and Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialistImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    Fall 2006High-poverty, low-achieving districts below 90 percent compliance and with schools in Year 4 and 5 AYPDistrict interventions and site visits to assist districts to develop highly qualified teacher plans NJDOE staff who can address specified areas of needImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies
    OngoingAll teachers and districts
    General public
    Higher education
    Continuation of a dedicated phone line and e-mail address to provide specific assistance for individual problemsOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsTimely responses to inquiries that will improve understanding of strategies to become highly qualified; identification of specific issues based on frequency of inquiries and improved responses

    (This information overlaps with all sub-requirements for Requirement 3.) 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-d New Jersey uses data from multiple sources to target professional development and technical assistance to identified areas of need. For example, “the NJDOE has made a concerted effort to provide professional development opportunities for teachers of students with disabilities and limited English proficient students as well as teachers of mathematics, science, and world languages. These opportunities include one- and two-day intensive institutes, online credit bearing courses and tutorials, and school-site consultation and training.” (pp. 12-13). 
    Requirement 3-e Does the plan include a description of how the State will use its available funds (e.g., Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A, including the portion that goes to the State agency for higher education; other Federal and State funds, as appropriate) to address the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-e The NJDOE has provided ongoing and sustained technical assistance and guidance to all New Jersey school districts in order to support districts and teachers in meeting the federal highly qualified requirements. Those supports included:
    • Multiple regional trainings which took place in the Fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005;
    • Targeted training and guidance sessions in high-poverty, low-performing districts where teachers are working to meet the HQT requirements;
    • Ongoing train-the-trainer sessions for county office of education staff who provide technical assistance to local school districts;
    • Individual conferencing with teachers through a dedicated phone line and e-mail account (answered over 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years); and
    • Additional regional trainings (Winter 2006) on the requirements of NCLB with specific emphasis on the highly qualified provisions of the law, targeting all districts that were below 90 percent compliance with the federal requirement.
    Beginning in November 2006, all districts will be required to submit district plans providing the steps the district will take to ensure that it is tracking and supporting teachers to attain highly qualified status. The plans will also describe a district's hiring needs and where it has filled staff vacancies with the most qualified applicant who is not yet highly qualified. As described in New Jersey's response to Requirement Two, district HQ plans must identify all teachers who have not yet met the requirement and the specific strategies the district will employ to assist those teachers in becoming highly qualified. Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan.

    The NJDOE has analyzed the data on highly qualified teachers captured in New Jersey's Certificated Staff Report as well as specific NCLB data from schools and districts identified in need of improvement. All districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will receive targeted assistance. The chart that follows lays out the department's action plan.

    TimelineTargeted AudienceActivityResponsible PartyAnticipated Outcomes
    June/July 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Acting Commissioner regarding new highly qualified teacher requirements Office of Academic and Professional StandardsIncreased awareness on new procedures and issues including hiring issues, district reporting, changes to HOUSE, and LEA plans
    June 2006-ongoingIdentified school districts Review and analysis of licensing records and current teacher assignments Office of Licensing and Credentials County offices of education Identification of out-of-field placements; teachers without proper certification or incomplete certification; Appropriate actions to reassign identified staff
    Summer 2006County superintendents, education specialists, and certification specialistsTargeted training: federal guidance for HQT requirements; state equity plan and the district plan NJDOE Offices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE teacher recruitment specialistCounty office staff will fully understand new federal and state HQT requirements and will be able to assist districts with mandated plan
    September 2006Districts that received training in Winter 2006 that continue to fall below 100 percent compliance and have entered into Year 3, 4 or 5 of AYP status Training: recruitment, retention, incentives equitable distribution of HQT and highly experienced teachers Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialist Improved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    September 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Commissioner outlining LEA planning process for equitable distribution of highly qualified teachersOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsImproved HQT data collection and increased efforts to assist all teachers in core content areas needing to become highly qualified
    Fall 2006Identified districts who have not meet requirementsRegional full day trainings to assist LEAs to develop strategies on recruitment, retention and incentives for ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified and highly experienced teachersOffices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials Title I; and Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialistImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    Fall 2006High-poverty, low-achieving districts below 90 percent compliance and with schools in Year 4 and 5 AYPDistrict interventions and site visits to assist districts to develop highly qualified teacher plans NJDOE staff who can address specified areas of needImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies
    OngoingAll teachers and districts
    General public
    Higher education
    Continuation of a dedicated phone line and e-mail address to provide specific assistance for individual problemsOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsTimely responses to inquiries that will improve understanding of strategies to become highly qualified; identification of specific issues based on frequency of inquiries and improved responses

    (This information overlaps with all sub-requirements for Requirement 3.) 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-e The plan does not discuss sources of funding at length, but the state teacher equity plan indicates that the state is making use of multiple sources of grants and federal funds to address the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified, including groups of teachers requiring particular state attention and those in high-need schools (e.g., federal Foreign Language Assistance Program grant to provide professional development to teachers of world languages, p. 22; federally-funded New Jersey Math-Science Partnership grant to improve teachers’ knowledge of math, science, and technology, p. 22; grant from Wachovia to provide professional development for instructional coaches in two high-need districts, p. 27).  
    Requirement 3-f Does the plan for the use of available funds indicate that priority will be given to the staffing and professional development needs of schools that are not making AYP? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 3-f?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 3-f The NJDOE has provided ongoing and sustained technical assistance and guidance to all New Jersey school districts in order to support districts and teachers in meeting the federal highly qualified requirements. Those supports included:
    • Multiple regional trainings which took place in the Fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005;
    • Targeted training and guidance sessions in high-poverty, low-performing districts where teachers are working to meet the HQT requirements;
    • Ongoing train-the-trainer sessions for county office of education staff who provide technical assistance to local school districts;
    • Individual conferencing with teachers through a dedicated phone line and e-mail account (answered over 7,000 requests for technical assistance in the past three years); and
    • Additional regional trainings (Winter 2006) on the requirements of NCLB with specific emphasis on the highly qualified provisions of the law, targeting all districts that were below 90 percent compliance with the federal requirement.
    Beginning in November 2006, all districts will be required to submit district plans providing the steps the district will take to ensure that it is tracking and supporting teachers to attain highly qualified status. The plans will also describe a district's hiring needs and where it has filled staff vacancies with the most qualified applicant who is not yet highly qualified. As described in New Jersey's response to Requirement Two, district HQ plans must identify all teachers who have not yet met the requirement and the specific strategies the district will employ to assist those teachers in becoming highly qualified. Over the next several months, the NJDOE will provide districts with specific guidance and support, including revisions to the current HQT Guide, memos and emails to the field, web-based models and instructions, technical assistance, and regional training sessions to develop the plan.

    The NJDOE has analyzed the data on highly qualified teachers captured in New Jersey's Certificated Staff Report as well as specific NCLB data from schools and districts identified in need of improvement. All districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will receive targeted assistance. The chart that follows lays out the department's action plan.

    TimelineTargeted AudienceActivityResponsible PartyAnticipated Outcomes
    June/July 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Acting Commissioner regarding new highly qualified teacher requirements Office of Academic and Professional StandardsIncreased awareness on new procedures and issues including hiring issues, district reporting, changes to HOUSE, and LEA plans
    June 2006-ongoingIdentified school districts Review and analysis of licensing records and current teacher assignments Office of Licensing and Credentials County offices of education Identification of out-of-field placements; teachers without proper certification or incomplete certification; Appropriate actions to reassign identified staff
    Summer 2006County superintendents, education specialists, and certification specialistsTargeted training: federal guidance for HQT requirements; state equity plan and the district plan NJDOE Offices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE teacher recruitment specialistCounty office staff will fully understand new federal and state HQT requirements and will be able to assist districts with mandated plan
    September 2006Districts that received training in Winter 2006 that continue to fall below 100 percent compliance and have entered into Year 3, 4 or 5 of AYP status Training: recruitment, retention, incentives equitable distribution of HQT and highly experienced teachers Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials; Title I; Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialist Improved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    September 2006Chief school administrators
    Charter school lead persons
    County superintendents
    NJDOE division heads
    Memo from Commissioner outlining LEA planning process for equitable distribution of highly qualified teachersOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsImproved HQT data collection and increased efforts to assist all teachers in core content areas needing to become highly qualified
    Fall 2006Identified districts who have not meet requirementsRegional full day trainings to assist LEAs to develop strategies on recruitment, retention and incentives for ensuring equitable distribution of highly qualified and highly experienced teachersOffices of Academic and Professional Standards; Licensure and Credentials Title I; and Special Education; NJDOE recruitment specialistImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies

    More equitable distribution of highly qualified and experienced teachers by local districts

    Fall 2006High-poverty, low-achieving districts below 90 percent compliance and with schools in Year 4 and 5 AYPDistrict interventions and site visits to assist districts to develop highly qualified teacher plans NJDOE staff who can address specified areas of needImproved compliance of highly qualified teachers using targeted strategies
    OngoingAll teachers and districts
    General public
    Higher education
    Continuation of a dedicated phone line and e-mail address to provide specific assistance for individual problemsOffice of Academic and Professional StandardsTimely responses to inquiries that will improve understanding of strategies to become highly qualified; identification of specific issues based on frequency of inquiries and improved responses

    (This information overlaps with all sub-requirements for Requirement 3.) 
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 3-f The plan does not discuss sources of funding at length, but the state teacher equity plan indicates that the state is making use of multiple sources of grants and federal funds to address the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified, including groups of teachers requiring particular state attention and those in high-need schools (e.g., federal Foreign Language Assistance Program grant to provide professional development to teachers of world languages, p. 22; federally-funded New Jersey Math-Science Partnership grant to improve teachers’ knowledge of math, science, and technology, p. 22; grant from Wachovia to provide professional development for instructional coaches in two high-need districts, p. 27).

    (This information overlaps with the peer review response for Requirement 3-e.) 

    Revised State Plans-Requirement 4
    Requirement 4 The revised plan must describe how the SEA will work with LEAs that fail to reach the 100% HQT goal by the end of the 2006-07 school year. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 4 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative Refer to sub-requirement responses. 
    Requirement 4-a Does the plan indicate how the SEA will monitor LEA compliance with the LEAs' HQT plans described in Requirement 2 and hold LEAs accountable for fulfilling their plans?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-a The State Board of Education adopted new licensing regulations in 2004 which are explicitly aligned with the highly qualified provisions of NCLB. In this way, the state can ensure that all new teachers entering the profession have content expertise in their area of certification upon completion of their pre-service program and are thereby, highly qualified. However, in the short term, the NJDOE recognizes that there are continuing shortages of highly qualified teachers in the core content areas of mathematics, science, and world languages and in the areas of special education and bilingual/ESL. As districts implement their highly qualified district plan, the state will continuously monitor and assist them in reaching 100 percent compliance through both support and accountability measures.

    (This information overlaps with Requirement 4-b.) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-a The SEA will conduct a review of districts in which fewer than 95 percent of core academic classes are taught by HQTs, and will make specific recommendations for corrective action to the commissioner. LEAs must report the number and percentage of core academic courses taught by non-HQTs on their district HQT plans, as well as the percentage of teachers who did not receive high-quality professional development during the previous school year.  
    Requirement 4-b Does the plan show how technical assistance from the SEA to help LEAs meet the 100 percent HQT goal will be targeted toward LEAs and schools that are not making AYP? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-b The State Board of Education adopted new licensing regulations in 2004 which are explicitly aligned with the highly qualified provisions of NCLB. In this way, the state can ensure that all new teachers entering the profession have content expertise in their area of certification upon completion of their pre-service program and are thereby, highly qualified. However, in the short term, the NJDOE recognizes that there are continuing shortages of highly qualified teachers in the core content areas of mathematics, science, and world languages and in the areas of special education and bilingual/ESL. As districts implement their highly qualified district plan, the state will continuously monitor and assist them in reaching 100 percent compliance through both support and accountability measures.

    (This information overlaps with Requirement 4-a.) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-b The report indicates that technical assistance will be targeted to schools and districts not making AYP in a number of ways. For example, “all districts that have not achieved 100 percent compliance in meeting the highly qualified requirement and that have schools listed in years three, four, and five of AYP will received targeted assistance,” including district interventions and site visits (pp. 14, 16). The report includes a comprehensive state action plan that includes a wide range of technical assistance, programs, and services to support LEAs. Activities are targeted to different audiences of districts, administrators, and practitioners throughout the year to help LEAs meet the 2006-07 HQT deadline (pp. 15-16). 
    Requirement 4-c Does the plan describe how the SEA will monitor whether LEAs attain 100 percent HQT in each LEA and school:
    • in the percentage of highly qualified teachers at each LEA and school; and
    • in the percentage of teachers who are receiving high-quality professional development to enable such teachers to become highly qualified and successful classroom teachers?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-c Districts will submit the plan for initial review to the county offices of education. The county office will verify that the plans are complete and reflect accurate data as reported in the Certificated Staff Report and the NJQSAC process. For those districts which fall below 95 percent compliance, the NJDOE Interdivisional Teacher Quality Council will conduct a review and make specific recommendations to the commissioner for corrective action based on statute, regulations, and specific protocols. For example, teachers who are employed in out-of-field assignments or who do not hold proper certification may be relegated to substitute teacher status until certification requirements can be completed. Similarly, a district may be required to remove the individual from his/her current position or dismiss the individual from employment. Additional interventions may be required based on the district's score on the personnel DPR of NJQSAC (see appendix for the DPR). Specific actions in Title I high-poverty schools and districts will be implemented, such as CAPA visits or on-site technical assistance. Districts who fail to meet annual measurable objectives will be subjected to a state requirement of targeting a percentage of Title II monies for support of highly qualified teacher initiatives.

    (This information overlaps with Requirement 4-d.) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-c The SEA will conduct a review of districts in which fewer than 95 percent of core academic classes are taught by HQTs, and will make specific recommendations for corrective action to the commissioner. LEAs must report the number and percentage of core academic courses taught by non-HQTs on their district HQT plans, as well as the percentage of teachers who did not receive high-quality professional development during the previous school year.

    (This information overlaps with the peer review response for Requirement 4-a.)  

    Requirement 4-d Consistent with ESEA §2141, does the plan include technical assistance or corrective actions that the SEA will apply if LEAs fail to meet HQT and AYP goals?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 4-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 4-d Districts will submit the plan for initial review to the county offices of education. The county office will verify that the plans are complete and reflect accurate data as reported in the Certificated Staff Report and the NJQSAC process. For those districts which fall below 95 percent compliance, the NJDOE Interdivisional Teacher Quality Council will conduct a review and make specific recommendations to the commissioner for corrective action based on statute, regulations, and specific protocols. For example, teachers who are employed in out-of-field assignments or who do not hold proper certification may be relegated to substitute teacher status until certification requirements can be completed. Similarly, a district may be required to remove the individual from his/her current position or dismiss the individual from employment. Additional interventions may be required based on the district's score on the personnel DPR of NJQSAC (see appendix for the DPR). Specific actions in Title I high-poverty schools and districts will be implemented, such as CAPA visits or on-site technical assistance. Districts who fail to meet annual measurable objectives will be subjected to a state requirement of targeting a percentage of Title II monies for support of highly qualified teacher initiatives.

    (This information overlaps with Requirement 4-c.) 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 4-d Teachers who are not fully certified or are teaching out-of-field may be reassigned, dismissed, or employed as a substitute teacher until all certification requirements are completed. LEA sanctions may include redirecting a portion of Title II funds to support highly qualified teacher initiatives.  
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 5
    Requirement 5 The revised plan must explain how and when the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for teachers not new to the profession who were hired prior to the end of the 2005-2006 school year, and how the SEA will discontinue the use of HOUSSE procedures for teachers hired after the end of the 2005-06 school year (except for the situations described below). 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 5 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative New Jersey provides clear guidance describing when veteran teachers may no longer demonstrate subject matter competence via HOUSSE and explains how the SEA plans to phase out its use.  
    Requirement 5-a Does the plan describe how and when the SEA will complete the HOUSSE process for all teachers not new to the profession who were hired before the end of the 2005-06 school year?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 5-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 5-a Despite the state's best efforts, there are still veteran teachers who teach multiple subjects that need additional time to complete the HOUSE Matrix for all content areas they are required to teach. In order to support those teachers with demanding teaching assignments who are close to completing the HOUSE process, the NJDOE proposes a realistic, achievable, and comprehensive plan for the phase-out NJ HOUSE Matrix for veteran teachers who are not entitled to use the flexibility rules identified by the USED and that were hired before the end of the 2005-2006 school year.  
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 5-a See overall peer review response for Requirement 5. 
    Requirement 5-b Does the plan describe how the State will limit the use of HOUSSE after the end of the 2005-06 school year to the following situations:
    • Multi-subject secondary teachers in rural schools who, if HQ in one subject at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within three years of the date of hire; or
    • Multi-subject special education teachers who are new to the profession, if HQ in language arts, mathematics, or science at the time of hire, may use HOUSSE to demonstrate competence in additional subjects within two years of the date of hire.
     
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 5-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 5-b The elimination of HOUSE will include the following provisions:
    • All new teachers hired after June 30, 2006 must meet the federal definition for highly qualified by passing the appropriate Praxis II content area test, having 30 credits in the content area, having a graduate or undergraduate degree in the subject matter, or having National Board Certification (except for the elementary certification) in the content area. Teachers new to the profession may not use the NJ HOUSE Matrix to prove they are highly qualified unless they fall under the flexibility rules provided in the federal guidance.
    • All veteran teachers in Title I schools hired before the beginning of the 2002-003 school year that are highly qualified in one core content area may continue to use the NJ HOUSE Matrix to demonstrate they are highly qualified in additional subjects until June 30, 2007.
    • All veteran teachers in non-Title I schools hired before the end of the 2005-2006 school year that are highly qualified in one core content area may continue to use the NJ HOUSE Matrix to demonstrate they are highly qualified in additional subjects until June 30, 2007.
    • All veteran teachers who have not achieved highly qualified status by August 31, 2006 will no longer be able to use the NJ HOUSE Matrix and must use the federal criteria solely for meeting the highly qualified status.
    • Veteran teachers who wish to become highly qualified in additional subjects after June 30, 2007 or those who have not met the highly qualified requirements by June 30, 2007 in additional subjects may no longer use the NJ HOUSE Matrix and must use the federal requirements to demonstrate their highly qualified status.
    • All new special education teachers and foreign teachers who enter the profession may use the flexibility rules issued by the USED if they meet the initial criteria established in the federal guidance.
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 5-b See overall peer review response for Requirement 5. 
    Revised State Plans-Requirement 6
    Requirement 6 The revised plan must include a copy of the State's written "equity plan" for ensuring that poor or minority children are not taught by inexperienced unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than are other children. 
    Peer Review Finding
  • Requirement 6 has been met.
  •  
    Peer Review Supporting Narrative Refer to sub-requirement responses. 
    Requirement 6-a Does the revised plan include a written equity plan? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-a?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-a

    Ensuring that Poor and Minority Children are not Taught in Higher Rates than Other Children by Inexperienced, Unqualified and Out-of- Field Teachers

    The NJDOE's plan lays out the steps it is currently taking, and will take in the future, to assure equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers in New Jersey's schools as well as the measures the state will use to evaluate and publicly report progress towards 100 percent compliance. The plan examines these steps across the eight key elements proposed in the Council for Chief State School Officer's (CCSSO) Template for State Equity Plans. This template provides a meaningful structure in which to illustrate New Jersey's systemic and data-driven approach to assuring equity in the distribution of highly qualified teachers within context of New Jersey's systemic teacher quality reform agenda. New Jersey would like to acknowledge the CCSSO for its support in corroborating and providing additional research to support the state's strategies. (Please refer to the appendix for additional information and a reference list of the research used in support of this plan.) The equity plan is organized around eight elements and within each element are the existing and proposed strategies to assure the equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers.

    CCSSO recommends that states consider the following eight elements as they develop and implement their state plans:

    1. Data and Reporting Systems
      How is the state planning to develop the teacher data and reporting systems needed to identify and correct inequities in the distribution of quality teachers in high-poverty/high-minority schools vs. low-poverty/low-minority schools?
    2. Teacher Preparation
      How is the state planning to build a pipeline of prospective teachers for high-poverty, low-performing schools?
    3. Out-of-Field Teaching
      How is the state planning to reduce the incidence of out-of-field teaching (particularly in mathematics, science, special education, and bilingual education/English as a Second Language) in high-poverty, low-performing schools?
    4. Recruitment and Retention of Experienced Teachers
      How is the state planning to build a critical mass of qualified, experienced teachers willing to work in hard-to-staff schools?
    5. Professional Development
      How is the state planning to strengthen the skills, knowledge, and qualifications of teachers already working in high-poverty, low-performing schools?
    6. Specialized Knowledge and Skills
      How is the state planning to ensure that teachers have the specialized knowledge and skills they need to be effective with the populations of students typically served in high-poverty, low-performing schools (including Native American students, English language learners, and other students at risk)?
    7. Working Conditions
      How is the state planning to improve the conditions in hard-to-staff schools that contribute to excessively high rates of teacher turnover?
    8. Policy Coherence
      How is the state planning to improve internal processes or revise state policies that may inadvertently contribute to local staffing inequities?
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-a New Jersey’s HQT plan includes a strong teacher equity plan. New Jersey is to be commended for the numerous strategies that the SEA has developed and implemented to recruit, develop, and retain teachers in high-need schools and districts.  
    Requirement 6-b Does the plan identify where inequities in teacher assignment exist?  
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-b?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-b

    As described in Requirement One, the NJDOE has ample data from numerous existing sources to create an analysis model to target strategies to schools based on need. The NJDOE's Certificated Staff Report provides detailed data pictures of individual schools. In addition, the Matrix Report compares the information from the Certificated Staff Report with licensing information. To show how this data can be used, the department selected five schools from the high poverty quartile that are in AYP status five. Department staff examined the number and percent of teachers not highly qualified in various subject areas within the five schools. In looking at the five schools, there are higher levels of teachers not highly qualified in special education and elementary education. However, the numbers alone do not tell us why these teachers are not highly qualified. Examining the certification database, department staff looked to see if the teachers were teaching out-of-field. There is not a high incidence of out-of-field teaching: however, the problem appears to be related to the new special education and middle school certification requirements.

    To ascertain why these particular schools had reached AYP status five, department staff analyzed the CAPA report to identify if working conditions might have interfered with success in the classroom. The CAPA process does not currently include a direct measure of "working conditions;" rather, information about school climate, teacher growth and autonomy, school culture, and related issues may be inferred from the site visits and interviews. In order to get a more accurate picture of working conditions that might impact teacher performance in these high poverty schools, CAPA teams will now include a new survey to specifically address issues about working conditions within classrooms and schools. A sample survey is included in the appendix.

    The NJDOE will initiate a series of data reports on the high-poverty quartile contrasted with the low-poverty one. The reports will examine the distribution of teachers with less than five years and more than 20 years of experience and will examine salary distribution, turnover, and racial/ethnic distribution. While the department's primary focus will be on those schools and districts in need of improvement, particularly low-poverty schools and districts, the department will also address other issues such as shortages in subject areas that may affect all districts, gaps between teacher preparation programs and teaching in the classroom, and the forms of professional development that are targeted to improving teacher effectiveness.

    To upgrade district and school-level databases, the NJDOE will add elements to the Certificated Staff Report (see appendix for 2006 additions). In addition, the department has already begun efforts to link the certificated staff collection and the teacher certification database. The Office of Licensing and Credentials will work closely with the county offices of education to examine any discrepancies between the two databases and to determine why teachers appear to lack certification for their assignments. County office personnel contact districts and schools to improve the quality and accuracy of data. The resulting Matrix Report will greatly improve the department's capacity to identify schools and districts in need of assistance and will serve as further evidence as part of the NJQSAC school district evaluation process. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-b Analyses presented earlier in the report identified inequities in teacher distribution by poverty, grade level, subject, and district, including the high-need Abbott districts and those in which schools are entering Years 3, 4, or 5 of AYP. Although no analyses of teacher distribution by experience appear in the report, the SEA states that “New Jersey has the data to track teacher mobility, certification, highly qualified status, and experience” (p. 35). In addition, one of the indicators in New Jersey’s new school district accountability system addresses district plans to ensure equitable distribution of qualified and experienced teachers in low-performing schools (p. 35). The report notes that inequities in the distribution of inexperienced teachers will be examined in the near future: “The NJDOE will initiate a series of reports on the high-poverty quartile contrasted with the low-poverty one. The reports will examine the distribution of teachers with less than five years and more than 20 years of experience and will examine salary distribution, turnover, and racial/ethnic distribution.” (p. 20). 
    Requirement 6-c Does the plan delineate specific strategies for addressing inequities in teacher assignment? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-c?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-c Note: Strategies for addressing inequities in teacher assignment is a topic addressed in elements 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of New Jersey's equity plan.
    The conclusion of this equity plan, found below, provides an abbreviated list of strategies for addressing inequities in teacher assignments. Complete information for all relevant elements is available on pages 20-29 and 34-37 of the full state plan.

    The NJDOE acknowledges the importance of having a highly qualified teacher in every classroom. To that end, the department has expanded its capacity to collect and analyze school and district data; initiated an audit of certificated status known as the Matrix Report; formalized a new district evaluation system (NJQSAC) which will provide specific information on policies and practices in recruitment, hiring, retention, mentoring and induction, licensing, and professional development; expanded the successful CAPA project that provides low-achieving schools with specific recommendations to improve students performance; created two new groups to address teacher quality issues; improved services provided by the Office of Licensing and Credentials to expedite teacher certification processes; eliminated emergency certification and expanded the alternate route; utilized grant funding to support urban teacher recruitment; and maintained and expanded partnerships to support the preparation and growth of teachers of mathematics, world languages, science, special education, and ESL/bilingual. The NJDOE will continue its efforts to support the highly qualified teacher requirements through a mandated highly qualified teacher action plan. The department will also institute a working conditions survey and will work with institutions of higher education, professional organizations, and school districts to investigate the use of incentives to attract and retain high quality teachers. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-c
  • Not addressed. 
  • Requirement 6-d Does the plan provide evidence for the probable success of the strategies it includes? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-d?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-d Note: Evidence for the probable success of New Jersey's strategies to address inequities in teacher assignments is found in Appendix G of the full state plan (page 64-79). An abbreviated version of Appendix G is shown here. Please refer to the full text of Appendix G found in the state plan for further information.

    Research Based Evidence for Equitable Distribution of Highly Qualified Teachers

    New Jersey uses has utilized research-based strategies as part of its systemic efforts to improve educator quality as well as specific strategies related to assuring the equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers. These strategies are used across the span of the continuum of educator practice from preservice through the ongoing development of teachers. In addition, New Jersey takes seriously the conditions of practice which have an important influence on teacher efficacy, satisfaction, and retention. In addition to the national research base, New Jersey has also been involved in significant state-based research including:

    • A study of the impact of mentor training and a longer mentoring period on teacher efficacy and retention;
    • An evaluation of its alternate route programs;
    • A study of the efficacy of distributed leadership on teacher and school leader retention and efficacy;
    • An evaluation of its teacher professional development initiative; and
    • An evaluation of its school leader professional development initiative.
    Teacher and school leader quality are considered essential and integral components of New Jersey's effort to narrow the achievement gap of students in all districts. The NJDOE works with numerous groups around the state to cull their expertise and utilize identified best practices that assist all districts in educating their students. The Commissioner of Education has supported the formation of a number of task forces and advisory groups to deal with the specific issues of educator mentoring, professional development, and licensure issues. The Mentoring Task Force, the Professional Teaching Standards Board, the Quality Teaching and Learning Task Force and Executive Advisory Committee, the Professional Development Advisory Committee for School Leaders, the State Action for Education Leadership Project funded through the Wallace Foundation, the Committee to Advance Professional Practice for National Board Certification, and subject-specific task forces have worked tirelessly to provide guidance on improving educator practice.

    Understanding and using a considerable research base for implementation of new initiatives and practices is an important aspect of the knowledge base of each of the task forces and advisory committees. In addition, the New Jersey State Department of Education has provided the groups with the services of Dennis Sparks, Stephanie Hirsh, and Joellen Killion of the National Staff Development Council, and Joseph Murphy of Vanderbilt University. Key strategies for teacher quality have come through the work of Richard Ingersoll, Katie Haycock, Richard DuFour, Ron Ferguson, Michael Fullan, Shirley Hord, McCREL and SEDL. Following is a list of the evidence for the strategies that New Jersey has used in its efforts to assure an equitable distribution of highly qualified teachers.

    Strategy: Require and Fund Mentoring and Induction Programs to Give Teachers the Support Needed to Succeed and Remain in Challenging Schools.

    1. Teacher turnover is highest in high-poverty schools and contributes to lower levels of student achievement.
    2. Evidence suggests that high-quality mentoring, induction, and support can significantly reduce teacher turnover.
    Strategy: Support the Development of High-quality Alternative Route Programs to Create a Pool of Teachers Specifically for High-need Schools.
    • Studies that have examined the effectiveness of alternative route teachers are mixed. Some suggest that alternative route candidates are less effective than teachers who have gone through traditional 4-year teacher preparation programs.
    • However, other studies suggest that alternative route teachers are just as effective.
    • In addition, some studies suggest that alternative route teachers are more likely to remain in the profession and less likely to move out of high-need schools.
    Strategy: Grow-your-own teachers.
    1. The majority of teachers tend to teach close to the area where they grew up or attended school.
    2. Districts located near teacher training programs or in states that produce a surplus of teachers have a distinct teacher recruitment and retention advantage (with the exception of teachers of certain hard-to-fill subjects).
    Strategy: Improve Working Conditions to Retain Teachers.
    1. High rates of teacher turnover are likely to have adverse effects on school and student performance
    2. Evidence suggests that teacher working conditions are associated with both teacher retention and student achievement. (Hirsch)

      Substrategy A: Improve administrative support and leadership
      Substrategy B: Improve physical working conditions and resources.
      Substrategy C: Improve school safety and discipline.

    Strategy: Adopt Policies to Increase the Number of National Board Certified Teachers in High-need Schools.
    1. Evidence is mixed on the relative effectiveness of NBCTs compared to others. Some studies have found no significant differences.
    2. Other studies conclude that National Board Certified teachers are more effective than others at raising student achievement (Cavaluzzo, 2004; Goldhaber & Anthony, 2005; Vandevoort et al., 2004).
    Strategy: Provide Intensive Professional Development in Core Academic Content to Teachers Currently Working in High-need Schools.
    1. Research has identified strong relationships between teachers' content knowledge and student achievement, particularly in math and science.
    2. Evidence suggests that teachers who leave schools with high concentrations of poor and minority students are more likely to be highly-skilled than those who remain.
    Strategy: Ensure that Teachers Have the Preparation and Training Needed to Work with Diverse Learners and Their Families.
    1. The overwhelming majority of teachers continues to be white, middle-class females, while the school-age population is becoming increasingly diverse.
    2. Teachers consistently say that they do not feel prepared to work with students from diverse cultures or their families.
     
    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-d Research evidence for the probable success of the various teacher distribution strategies that New Jersey is implementing is included in Appendix G.

    The report indicates that some of the initiatives described in New Jersey’s equity plan are currently being evaluated, but the state plan does not discuss the measures that the state will use to determine whether other strategies are succeeding and leading to a more equitable distribution of teachers. To do this, the state will need to identify the measures that it will use to evaluate and publicly report progress.  

    Requirement 6-e Does the plan indicate that the SEA will examine the issue of equitable teacher assignment when it monitors LEAs, and how this will be done? 
    Does the revised state plan meet requirement 6-e?
  • Yes
  •  
    Revised State Plan Addressing Requirement 6-e

    Note: Examining equitable teacher assignments while monitoring LEAs is a topic addressed in element seven. The following information has been condensed, please visit New Jersey's Revised Plan for the full text.

    New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC)

    State legislation required the development of a new school district monitoring system known as the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC). NJQSAC is a self-assessment and review process that addresses school district policies and practices in five areas: personnel, fiscal, governance, operations, and programs and instruction. NJQSAC focuses on how each of these areas impacts the mission of every New Jersey school district: student achievement of the NJCCCS. Each district must convene a committee to perform the self-assessment (known as the District Performance review or DPR) which is then submitted to the county office of education for review and placement on the continuum. Districts that score at 80 percent or higher in each of the five areas are "approved." Should a district receive lower than 80 percent in any one of the five areas, a more intensive review is conducted by department staff to verify the results. Evidence for review might include items such as personnel policies, curricula, achievement results, and district plans. The focus of NJQSAC is to identify districts in need of assistance in one or more of the five targeted areas and then to provide specific interventions to assist the district to successfully address the needs or shortcomings.

    School Safety

    A safe, civil, orderly, respectful, and supportive learning community is vital to healthy working conditions for staff as well as for students. New Jersey tracks incidents of violence and vandalism in an electronic monitoring system and uses the data to develop strategies to support schools. The department provides technical assistance to schools with specific problems such as bullying or vandalism. In partnership with Rutgers University's Center for Applied Psychology, the department provides services, technical assistance, and training to schools and districts in the implementation of the requirements regarding safe schools under Title IV and the department's Unsafe School Choice Option Policy. These services involve the development of corrective action and safety plans which are designed to reduce the number of incidents of violence in schools with serious problems of violence and vandalism as identified through New Jersey's Electronic Violence and Vandalism System. In addition, the department has implemented a Social and Emotional Learning Initiative, grounded in research that successful student academic performance depends to a significant degree on a student's social and emotional skills and ability to pursue educational goals with a sense of purpose. These pilot activities have reduced at-risk student behavior and have contributed to positive learning climates that impact both students and teachers. Two low-performing Abbott school districts and eight low-performing non-Abbott school districts participate in the pilot. Additional projects focus on positive student discipline, safety and discipline policies, and character education.

    Teacher Support Services

    New Jersey school districts are required to provide support, guidance, and professional development to school staff who identify learning, behavior, and health difficulties in students and who participate in the provision of Intervention and Referral Services (IRS). IRS teams provide teachers with support and consultation to address behavioral, learning, or health problems that impede student achievement. This collaborative process brings many minds together to discuss problems, to develop strategies, and to discuss the impact of the interventions. Originally designed to precede any formal referral for a more intensive evaluation for special education services, IRS teams have evolved into a necessary support system for teachers. IRS teams provide a professional learning community approach to support teachers by providing research-based strategies and engaging experts in constructive dialogue to solve classroom management and behavioral problems.

    School Leadership Policy

    In the last five years, New Jersey has been deeply involved in policy and program development in support of strong educational leadership. As a partner with the Wallace Foundation in the State Action for Educational Leadership Program (SAELP), New Jersey has made a number of key policy changes to enhance educational leadership in the state.

    Abbott Professional Development Requirement

    The new Abbott professional development requirement plays a key role in enhancing the working conditions of teachers and school leaders in high-needs schools. The regulations specify that schools must develop learning communities in which professionals support and share in the learning and development of one another. This collaborative model has great potential for improving the climate of schools as well as the knowledge and skills of the professionals.

    Special Education Support

    To address the issue of special education teacher attrition, the department is working with new teachers in high-poverty districts with high mobility to provide them with additional training and support beyond the district-sponsored induction program. Staff from the four Learning Resource Centers, the department's special education professional development training network, implement these programs. Special education teachers in the program will receive a year-long series of training. The department is also planning to provide additional mentoring and support to special education teachers in high-need districts.

    Working Conditions Survey

    The department acknowledges the need to accumulate more information about working conditions and their impact on teacher recruitment and retention. To fill this gap, the NJDOE has developed a working conditions survey which will become part of the CAPA process for schools not making AYP. A draft of this survey is provided in appendix. As part of the comprehensive CAPA process, the survey will provide important information about teachers' satisfaction or dissatisfaction across a spectrum of key elements including resources, leadership, and school environment and safety. This survey will provide key data that the department can utilize and share with district leadership about existing conditions in schools and districts. It will also provide important information for policy makers to utilize in crafting policies to support and retain highly qualified teachers in high-needs districts. The department will also investigate other sources of this information such as district compensation packages and exit interviews and work with professional organizations such as NJEA and NJPSA to gather a more accurate picture of working conditions in New Jersey's public schools. 

    Peer Review Response to Requirement 6-e
  • Not addressed. 


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