Elizabeth School Official Named To NJ Education Task Force

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TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie appointed Donald E. Goncalves, the assistant secretary of the Elizabeth Board of Education, to the newly-created Education Transformation Task Force.

The task force will examine ways to eliminate burdensome regulations so that New Jersey’s educators will be given the freedom they need to employ the best strategies in the classroom. This group of educators, community leaders and school administrators will rethink the way the State of New Jersey delivers public education for nearly 1.4 million students and ensure greater focus on delivering more flexibility to principals and teachers throughout the state.

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“Today, I’ve asked seasoned educators and community leaders from across the state to find ways to reduce energy-sapping government red tape that wastes time and resources,” Christie said. “While we must hold educators accountable and measure how effectively they are teaching our children, we must also give the leaders in our schools the flexibility they need to drive innovation in the classroom and deliver the best results.”

The Education Transformation Task Force will be chaired by former New Jersey Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe (Belle Mead, Somerset). Other members will include: Community Education Resource Network co-founder and Director Angel Cordero (Camden, Camden); Teaneck High School Principal Angela R. Davis (New Milford, Bergen); Kearny School Superintendent Frank Digesere (Toms River, Ocean); Pittsgrove Township Middle School teacher Linda DuBois (Pittsgrove, Salem); special education expert and ECLC of New Jersey Executive Director Bruce Litinger (Short Hills, Essex); and Seton Hall University Department of Education Leadership, Management and Policy Chair Michael J. Osnato, Ed.D. (Westwood, Bergen).

“We need to entirely rethink the way that New Jersey delivers education to its 1.4 million students,” said Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf. “We need to stop focusing on micromanaging local schools with unnecessary rules and regulations. The Department of Education must shift its mission so that everything we do is focused on helping children become college and career ready.”

The Education Transformation Task Force will gather comments from various stakeholders as they complete a comprehensive and thorough review of all current administrative regulations that affect public education, including an examination of the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) regulations. Currently, schools must file reports that deal with more than 300 indicators of a school’s performance.

In their final report, the task force will provide recommendations to the Governor that further the goals of: increasing quality of instruction and academic achievement for students; improving teaching and educator effectiveness within schools; improving the safety and well-being of students; and sensibly eliminating or reforming those regulations that are found to be unnecessary, overly burdensome, or not conducive to an efficient and flexible classroom environment.

A final report to the governor outlining the task force’s recommendations is due no later than Sept. 1, with an initial report by Aug. 15. Task force members will serve without compensation. Upon the issuance of its final report, the task force will expire.


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