STATE – The New Jersey Education Association presented an education reform plan today that included a proposal to streamline the tenure dismissal process.
In remarks to reporters, NJEA President Barbara Keshishian said “our reforms take the view that professional educators should be involved in the development of reforms,” something that has been missing from the discussion of education reform in New Jersey recently.
“Too many so-called reforms are based on politics and sound bites – and not on sound research and proven practice,” said Keshishian. “We need to change that dynamic in New Jersey, and these proposals seek to do just that.”
The NJEA tenure system proposal – which would require legislative approval – would allow teacher dismissal cases to be handled by arbitrators instead of having hearings before administrative law judges.
“Today, we are proposing to change the tenure law by having nationally certified arbitrators – not administrative law judges – decide dismissal cases,” Keshishian said. “This legislation would cover all school employees, as well as employees of county colleges and public four-year colleges. By taking the courts out of the equation, we believe the average case can be adjudicated in 60 to 90 days, and at a fraction of the cost.”
Other parts of the proposal include a mentoring and support program for new teachers, legislation to ensure that any savings achieved through teacher concessions in negotiations is used to restore positions lost to budget cuts, and higher standards for public charter schools.
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