State unveils teacher evaluation grant program

TRENTON The state today announced details of a state grant program related to Gov. Christie’s pilot program on innovative teacher evaluations.

Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf said that a $1.1 million Excellent Educators for New Jersey grant program will encourage school districts to participate in the pilot program.

According to the state, the grants will be awarded for the 2011-2012 school year to districts and charter schools that offer to work with the state Education Department to develop and implement new teacher evaluation systems focused on teacher practice and student performance, factors that were among the recommendations earlier this year of Christie’s education task force.

“New Jersey educators deserve timely, meaningful, and actionable feedback about the work they do to help students learn,” Cerf said in a statement.

Participating districts will help design the new evaluation system and provide  feedback to the Department of Education. Districts must follow specific guidelines,  but will be given flexibility to develop certain elements of their own, officials said. The limited-competitive project year is Sept. 1, 2011 – Sept.  30, 2012. Applications for the program are due by July 28.

State unveils teacher evaluation grant program