New Jersey Has Almost 3,000 ‘Struggling’ Teachers
Figures released by the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) revealed that almost three percent of the state's teachers are rated "ineffective" or "partially effective." That percentage might seem small, but the Garden State has a lot of teachers, so that number represents almost 3,000 teachers.
There is a game plan for dealing with these educators.
"These are 2,900 teachers in the state of New Jersey that have been identified as struggling. We need to give them the support they need," said Peter Shulman, assistant commissioner of education and chief talent officer. "The idea is to support them and have them improve and if they can't improve we're not going to shy away from exiting them and replacing them with a better teacher."
The 2,900 teachers provided instruction to more than 180,000 New Jersey students last year. The law that created the AchieveNJ evaluation system requires those teachers to get extra support and to show progress over time to earn or maintain tenure.
The DOE continues to explore the data for trends and areas of improvement. This analysis shows that teachers with 0-2 years of experience were more than twice as likely to earn partially effective ratings and experienced teachers were more than twice as likely to earn highly effective ratings.
A zip code didn't dictate where more or less effective teachers were found. Shulman said there were great teachers in Camden and there were not-so-great teachers in Princeton. Regardless of where an ineffective or partially effective teacher may be, the idea was to identify them and assist them.
"We really need to get into those schools. We really need to work with those districts in helping those teachers improve and if they can't improve we need to remove them," Shulman said.
Overall, teacher evaluation statistics can be found at www.state.nj.us/education. Click on the "AchieveNJ: Educator Evaluation" icon. You will not be able to access the ratings of any specific teacher.
"The Teach NJ law doesn't allow personally identifiable evaluation data," Shulman said. "No one would ever want to put that out."