Teacher Tenure Reform Bill Awaits Governor’s Action

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TRENTON – The Assembly unanimously approved a teacher tenure reform bill sponsored by state Sen. Teresa Ruiz on Monday, and the state Senate concurred with several amendments to give the pending measure final legislative approval. It now awaits action from Gov. Chris Christie.

Under the bill, teachers and principals would be subject to a new system of yearly evaluations, based in part on improvement in student test scores. New teachers would have to go through a four-year process before gaining tenure, and any teacher could be fired after two years of negative evaluations.

“By strengthening our professionals, we will ensure that our students have the best teachers in the classroom so that all children – regardless of their background, their ZIP code, or their socio-economic status – will have the opportunities they deserve for educational excellence,” Ruiz said.

New Jersey Education Association President Barbara Keshishian applauded the passage of the tenure reform bill. “The legislation approved today gives districts a clear and reasonable way to remove ineffective teachers,” she said. “It also protects teachers and taxpayers from the pernicious influence of politics and patronage in the classroom — the very reason that New Jersey instituted tenure a century ago.”

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