State unveils plan for further streamlining of education

TRENTON – As part of its ongoing crusade to reform the state’s public education system, Gov. Chris Christie and Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf said today the state will seek, among other things, a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind act.

In addition, the administration announced it wants to replace the state’s Quality Single Accountability Continuum – the state’s public-school monitoring system – with what it said would be a streamlined system focused on student learning.

Referencing a task force report that has 45 recommendations for reducing red tape and improving performance, Christie said, “this report confirms that we need to provide a new accountability system that works for our educators and students, and that sensibly moves us toward a system that values educational results over bureaucratic red tape.”

The state Education Department had announced in August it was considering seeking a waiver from NCLB when the Obama administration had stated it would accept such applications.

The state, in announcing its goals, said that it wants schools to become less concerned or bogged down with red tape and more concerned on educational performance.

.”The 45 regulations identified for elimination in this report are a down payment on this reform to our state’s teachers and administrators and an indication of my Administration’s commitment to getting out of the way of excellent schools and prioritizing classroom results over paperwork, while still ensuring that standards and accountability are high and that the safety and fiscal integrity of our education system are uncompromised,” Christie said in a release.

The new accountability system would focus on the following principles:

  • · Focus on schools, more than districts, as the accountable unit
  • · Emphasize “outcomes” (graduation rates, achievement gains) rather than “inputs”
  • · Measure success by high standards directly correlated to college and career readiness
  • · Recognize academic progress, not absolute achievement levels, as the proper benchmark for success
  • · Consist of considerably less paperwork and fewer bureaucratic demands on districts, so that schools can focus on what matters most
  • · Include a clearly articulated schedule of interventions for schools experiencing persistent educational failure

Previous coverage:

N.J. Education Dept. may seek waiver of No Child Left Behind

  State unveils plan for further streamlining of education