Policy Brief: DougLarkin&JosephOluwole-OpportunityCostPolicyBrief
Dr. Douglas Larkin
Dept. of Secondary & Special Education
Montclair State University
Dr. Joseph O. Oluwole,
Dept. of Counseling and Educational
Leadership, Montclair State University
In 2012, the New Jersey State Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act. This brief examines the following questions about the impact of this law:
- What is the effect of intensifying the teacher evaluation process on the time necessary for administrators to conduct observations in accordance with the new teacher evaluation regulations in New Jersey?
- In what ways do the demands of the new teacher evaluation system impact various types of school districts, and does this impact ameliorate or magnify existing inequities?
We ﬁnd the following:
On average, the minimum amount of time dedicated solely to classroom observations will increase by over 35%. It is likely that the other time requirements for compliance with the new evaluation system, such as pre- and post-conferences, observation write-ups, and scheduling will increase correspondingly.
The new evaluation system is highly sensitive to existing faculty-to-administrator ratios, and a tremendous range of these ratios exists in New Jersey school districts across all operating types, sizes, and District Factor Groups. There is clear evidence that a greater burden is placed on districts with high faculty-to-administrator ratios by the TEACHNJ observation regulations. There is a weak correlation between per-pupil expenditures and faculty-to-administrator ratios.
The change in administrative workload will increase more in districts with a greater proportion of tenured teachers because of the additional time required for observations of this group under the new law.
The increased burden the TEACHNJ Act imposes on administrators’ time in some districts may compromise their ability to thoroughly and properly evaluate their teachers. In districts where there are not adequate resources to ensure administrators have enough time to conduct evaluations, there is an increased likelihood of substantive due process concerns in personnel decisions such as the denial or termination of tenure.