08.21.2012Author: Jennifer Mazawey, Esq. and Jennifer Paganucci, Esq. View the article (pdf) On August 6, 2012, Governor Christie signed the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (“TEACHNJ”) Act. TEACHNJ represents a significant change from the traditional methods to obtain tenure and methods to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom and focuses on professional development and the importance of performance evaluations. Centered on a goal of increased student achievement through improved instruction, TEACHNJ requires all newly hired teachers to serve four years prior to obtaining tenure. During this period, teaching staff members must complete a mentoring program, and after completion, two of three summative evaluations must rank their performance as effective or highly effective in order to receive tenure. Once tenured, teaching staff members must continue to maintain effective or highly effective performance ratings. Performance will be evaluated through use of Commissioner of Education approved evaluation rubrics. TEACHNJ establishes an entirely new system for evaluating performance and continuing employment as a public school teaching staff member. For more information on the impact of TEACHNJ, or to discuss strategies for implementation of TEACHNJ’s requirements, please contact Jennifer Mazawey, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jennifer Paganucci, at email@example.com, or 973-533-0777.