Andy Smarick, the Christie administration’s Deputy Commissioner of Education, testified before Senator Theresa Ruiz’s Education Committee today about a state-wide teacher evaluation program that its being rolled out this school year. The program, EE4NJ, considers both objective and subjective criteria. The pilot program will run through the current school year. Following the hearing, Senator Ruiz spoke with the press.
Senator Ruiz’s video and the NJEA’s response are below the fold.
After the hearing, I asked Steve Baker, a spokesman for NJEA, for comments. Baker acknowledged that the current methods of teacher evaluation can be improved, and is glad that this program is being piloted in selected districts instead of being rolled out to all districts. He expressed concern about how it will work across New Jersey and thought that one year is not enough time to thoroughy assess the changes. Baker is also worried about the continued emphasis on test scores as a method for evaluating teachers. He said that the current testing methods were not designed to evaluate teacher effectiveness, and further work will be needed.