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Education Transformation Task Force Initial Report

Education Transformation Task Force Initial Report

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Governor Chris Christie Outlines Education Reform Agenda Centered on Four Building Blocks for Success in New Jersey's Schools
Governor Chris Christie Outlines Education Reform Agenda Centered on Four Building Blocks for Success in New Jersey's Schools

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Published by: Governor Chris Christie on Sep 12, 2011
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12/16/2012

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This Initial Report represents a first step in the work of the Task Force; the great majority of the
regulatory reform project and accountability system development will occur after the submission of this
update.

Once this Report is released publicly, the Task Force will solicit comments on the ideas expressed in the
document from the public, stakeholders, and the State Board of Education. These perspectives will be
used to review and revise the recommendations expressed herein and to inform the future work of the
Task Force.

With regard to evaluating school and district performance for a revamped accountability system, the
Task Force recommends that the Department’s Division of Performance develop specific definitions of
academic achievement for this purpose, in compliance with federal mandates and in accordance with
the principles expressed in this report. This and other efforts should be undertaken toward the goal of
achieving approval of a proposed alternative accountability system and a granting of a waiver of NCLB
by the federal Department of Education.

Further, the Task Force recommends that the Department’s financial and oversight offices create
detailed standards for district fiscal responsibility with a focus on internal control systems and standards
operating procedures in light of the 2% “hard” property tax cap. The Task Force recommends that the
Department’s Division of Program and Operations create clear standards for district responsibility

regarding student health and safety.

With regard to supporting schools and districts in their efforts to increase the number of students who
graduate from high school ready for college and career, the Task Force will continue its review and will
work with Department staff to develop further details of a revised proposal.

With regard to regulatory reform, the process of reviewing each chapter of Department regulation, and
each underlying statute, will continue through the end of year. The Task Force’s team of lawyers and
educators will continue to evaluate the extent to which each regulation exceeds federal mandate, State
law, or case law. If the regulation exceeds the underlying authority and does not serve to improve
student achievement, operational efficiency, or fiscal effectiveness, then the Task Force will recommend
its repeal. The Task Force will collaborate with Department leadership and staff to prepare revised
chapter of code which reflect this new regulatory perspective and which shall be proposed to the State
Board of Education for adoption. In addition to this review of regulations, the Task Force is also charged
with reviewing the statutes supporting these administrative regulations and making further
recommendations.

The recommendations derived from these streams of work will be shared in a final report submitted to
the Governor by December 31, 2011, at which point the Task Force will expire.

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