NEW JERSEY — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order to implement three new policies for the 2020-2021 academic year.
The policies allow for more flexibility and understanding due to the unprecedented times caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for high school seniors, teacher evaluations and substitute teachers.
All three actions are the result of engagement with state stakeholders and practitioners who keep the Department of Education abreast amid the circumstances, according to the department’s acting commissioner, Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan.
Under the executive order, the graduation assessment required for all 12th grade students will be waived if they have met all other education requirements.
“Given the limited availability of opportunity to meet the state’s graduation proficiency test requirement, this order waives the requirement for the Class of 2021 and ensures they are still able to graduate as expected so long as all credit, curriculum standard and attendance benchmarks are met,” Gov. Murphy said.
The Student Growth Objectives would also be removed from education evaluations for the academic year.
Evaluations will be based solely on teacher practice. While student growth should be used to assess student progress and other aspects of professional development, they should not impact an educator’s evaluation, according to Murphy.
The governor also said he is extending the time in which certified teachers can serve as substitute teachers. Extending time would allow for proper class supervision and continuity of instruction.
The pandemic has caused schools across the country to change the way lessons are taught. Hundreds of schools in New Jersey have opted for all-remote learning until further notice. Several dozen schools have continued in-person learning, while other school districts have opted for a hybrid learning model.