Panel Video – The NJDOE’s guidance on Evaluation
On Oct. 20, NJEA hosted a panel discussion on educator evaluation in 2020. Guests included Dr. Peter Mazzagatti of the New Jersey Department of Education; Dr. Stefani Arzonetti Hite; Dr. Dana Zimbicki of East Brunswick EA; Mr. David Yastremski of Bernards Township EA; and Ms. Elisabeth Yucis, an Associate Director in NJEA’s Professional Development and Instructional Issues division. The panel was moderated by Dr. Christine Miles, also an Associate Director in the PDII Division.
This video—an interactive, enhanced recording of the panel conversation—is a powerful advocacy tool for members. By clicking the above link and streaming the video, educators can hear NJDOE’s positions, in their own words, while simultaneously accessing links to relevant resources, such as the NJDOE’s Educator Evaluation Guidance for 2020-21.
Within the video, educators will find explanations of flexibilities around Student Growth Objectives (SGOs) and information about the portfolio observation process for teachers working in fully remote settings. The additional detail provided around the general purpose of SGOs will also be useful to our members, moving forward, as they begin to plan for an eventual return to normal day-to-day operations in schools. A table of contents near the beginning of the video will help members to find exactly the information they might need in their advocacy efforts.
We hope that the video and accompanying resources will help our local associations to advocate and organize around developing fair, consistent, and transparent evaluation practices this year and beyond. We encourage local associations to use this video to start conversations with administrators who are operating under misconceptions or misinformation at this time.
Member Evaluation FAQ
Nearly 130 member questions and comments were submitted either in advance or during the Educator Evaluation panel discussion on Oct. 20, 2020. We were able to consolidate and streamline many questions. We edited some questions for clarity and to preserve anonymity. Below please find the questions and answers as well as a list of all the documents referenced in this Q&A. Members with follow-up questions should reach out to their local association leadership; locals will connect with UniServ field representatives and NJEA staff as needed to discuss resolutions and next steps. Circumstances in each local are unique, so it is important to address issues via existing channels of communication. Additionally, please note that this document is provided as a reference to our members, and it is not intended to be taken legal advice.
Evaluation Panel Q&A
As always, we want to remind members to utilize existing channels of communication. Individuals should first address concerns directly to their association representatives (if applicable) who will route questions to local association leadership. From there, local presidents can engage with administrators and UniServ field representatives to work towards a resolution. Whenever necessary, field representatives will partner with NJEA PDII and Legal Services staff to obtain further assistance, including but not limited to communicating with the NJDOE on behalf of the local.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, NJEA has worked alongside stakeholders to advocate for our members’ needs as well as those of the students they serve. We will continue to engage in this work and keep New Jersey’s public school system the #1 in our nation.