DFER NJ Applauds Governor Christie’s Signing of TEACHNJ


August 6, 2012

Democrats for Education Reform New Jersey Applauds
Governor Chris Christie’s Signing of TEACHNJ

Signing of TEACHNJ Act a Historic Day for New Jersey

Trenton, NJ, August 6, 2012—Democrats for Education Reform New Jersey released the following statement from State Director Kathleen Nugent regarding today’s signing by Governor Chris Christie of the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act.

“Today is a historic day in New Jersey. Following unanimous passage in the Legislature, Governor Chris Christie signed TEACHNJ, a policy that will help ensure all students have an effective teacher leading their classroom — the single most important factor in student educational achievement. TEACHNJ will support the recruitment, development, and retention of the best teachers possible, a critical step for progress on education reform in New Jersey and across the country.

Bill sponsor Senator Teresa Ruiz has led 18 months of research, discussion, and consensus-building to produce a final product that will result in a reformed tenure system of which students, educators, parents, elected officials, and stakeholders statewide can be truly proud. We applaud Senator Ruiz’s tremendous leadership from the first public discussion of tenure reform in her Senate Education Committee in December 2010 to the unanimous passage this past June. We also applaud Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver for engaging in this critical issue, and recognize the strong efforts of Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, and Assemblyman Troy Singleton who also drove the process.

Democrats for Education Reform praises three key provisions within TEACHNJ, which will strengthen our schools, support our teachers, and put student success above all else:

  • First, TEACHNJ will fundamentally strengthen tenure in New Jersey by tying its acquisition and retention to demonstrated effectiveness in the classroom.
  • Second, TEACHNJ will create significant professional development support for teachers and school leaders in order to ensure resources target individual needs and foster the greatest possible increased student achievement.
  • And third, TEACHNJ will dramatically reduce the time and costs for tenure challenges while ensuring due process and protecting employee rights in a responsible way.

The success of our students and of our state depends on a first-rate system of public education, and TEACHNJ will strengthen New Jersey’s ability to provide the highest quality education possible in all of our classrooms – a historic day indeed.”