Date: March 5, 2014
The Honorable Christopher Cerf
Commissioner of Education
New Jersey Department of Education
PO Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
Dear Commissioner Cerf:
I am pleased to inform you that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has determined that New Jersey’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, and the corresponding changes New Jersey made to Principle 3 of its approved ESEA flexibility request, meet the requirements for Principle 3 articulated in ED’s September 23, 2011, document titled ESEA Flexibility.
During the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed New Jersey’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of New Jersey’s request. Staff from ED also reviewed New Jersey’s submission as well as the changes New Jersey made to its guidelines and to Principle 3 of its request in response to the feedback provided following the July peer review. The determination that New Jersey’s guidelines meet the requirements of Principle 3 is based on these reviews and the changes New Jersey made in response to that feedback. I congratulate you on submitting guidelines and a process for ensuring that each district in New Jersey develops, adopts, pilots, and implements teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with those guidelines, both of which reaffirm New Jersey’s commitment to improving academic achievement and the quality of instruction for all of the State’s elementary and secondary school students.
New Jersey’s complete request for ESEA flexibility has already been fully approved through the 2013–2014 school year. In the meantime, ED will continue to monitor New Jersey’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, including the development of evaluation and support systems consistent with New Jersey’s guidelines.
While ED understands and expects that New Jersey may make changes to its guidelines as a result of ongoing development efforts, New Jersey should ensure that any such changes are consistent with Principle 3 of ESEA flexibility by consulting with ED. Depending on the nature and extent of such changes, New Jersey may need to submit a request to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. If you have any questions regarding the amendment process or anything else related to New Jersey’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Dave English at 202-260-2201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of New Jersey’s approved request for ESEA flexibility, including its guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, as well as the revised Principle 3, will be posted on the ED’s web site at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html. Again, I congratulate you on developing guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet the requirements of ESEA flexibility and thank you for the work that you and your staff have done. I look forward to continuing to support the State as you implement New Jersey’s ESEA flexibility request and work to improve the quality of instruction and academic achievement for all students.
Deborah S. Delisle
cc: Peter Shulman, Assistant Commissioner of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness
Jim Palmer, Director, Project Management Office