New Jersey 2016 State Policy Detail
WORK TOWARDS BALANCE ON POLICIES
New Jersey is looking to strengthen charter school autonomies through the rulemaking process. This presents an opportunity for the state to revisit and strengthen its quality and accountability policies.
- Codify the expectation that the authorizer follows professional standards for charter school authorizing. The New Jersey Department of Education voluntarily follows NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing. However, nothing in state policy ensures the Department will continue to do so in perpetuity.
- Adopt the proposed rule change to require the Department to publicly report on each charter school’s academic performance. Current rules require all charter schools to prepare annual reports on their academic performance. Rules also require the Department to review annually the performance of each charter school according to the performance frameworks. However, nothing currently in policy requires either the annual reports or the annual reviews to be publicly released.
- Consider a statewide alternative authorizer, such as an Independent Chartering Board. This additional authorizer would serve as a safety net for the state’s charter sector if electoral changes ever lead to significant reduction or suspension of authorizing activity or commitment by the SEA.
- Establish authorizer evaluations on an as-needed or self-evaluative basis. Authorizer self-evaluations require authorizers to reflect on their practices and outcomes and identify areas for improvement.