At Monday's West Morris Regional Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast unveiled the details for the Stronge Supervision and Evaluation System coming to the district this fall.
Starting in September, every faculty member, tenured or non-tenured, will receive a rating at the conclusion of each school year. There are four ratings: highly effective, effective, partially effective and ineffective. If a teacher receives a poor rating, he or she must go before an arbitration panel at the end of the year to decide his or her future. The panel then has 45 days to make a decision.
"If a teacher, for example, has an ineffective or partially effective rating, then they immediately go on a corrective action plan, which involves professional development, to pull them out," Pendergrast said.
The panel, Pendergrast said, will include the superintendent, assistant superintendent, district supervisors, building administrators and the principal. He added that there is a half-day next week where the schools will "begin training our teachers in the system, our district supervisors have already been trained. We'll have the rest of the training in the summer."
Pendergrast said that the students won't be giving their teachers grades, but the pupils will dole out feedback.
"The students won't be giving their teachers a grade, but we want to make sure that there's as many different data points and different ways of getting feedback to our teachers; that includes teachers getting feedback from administrators, from their own testing results, from standardized tests," Pendergrast said.
According to Pendergrast, the goal will be to develop multiple measures to give teachers feedback.
"Then what we'll be looking for as administrators is how the teachers adjust to the feedback that they get, not only from students but also from the other data points," Pendergrast said.
Because the system will not be implemented at all school districts throughout New Jersey until next school year, the grades or feedback that teachers receive for the current year will not count.
Pendergrast also said that if a teacher loses his or her tenure it doesn't necessarily mean he or she will be fired but that "obviously they could."
For his part, Pendergrast sees more changes coming now than in recent memory.
"There will be more happening in the next three years than the previous 15 [years]," Pendergrast said. "Not because of me but because the environment demands it and will continue to demand it from us. We're moving ahead incrementally, setting goals technologically."