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Contact: Peter Peretzman
For Release: February 16, 2000

Commissioner of Education Releases New Professional Development Standards for Teachers

Commissioner of Education David Hespe has approved Professional Development Standards for teachers and education services personnel. These standards were developed in response to a requirement enacted by the State Board of Education in 1998 that all teachers complete 100 hours of continuing education every five years. The standards were developed by the Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB), which was created pursuant to the continuing education regulations. (The standards are attached.)

The PTSB has also completed work on a web-based Professional Development Provider Registration System. This will be an important way for educators and school district officials to access information about available continuing education opportunities. The provider registration system will be available online at the Department of Education's website at

"Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all teachers enter the classroom fully prepared to help our children reach our rigorous academic standards," said Governor Whitman. "These standards will allow our teachers to refresh their knowledge and skills on a periodic basis."

"These standards will provide guidance for the successful completion of the continuing education requirement by New Jersey teachers and educational services personnel," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "Our goal is focus on providing quality continuing education programs so that our educators receive the highest quality training possible."

The new professional development standards reflect the PTSB's extensive and thorough work over the last year. The standards, which were developed based on current education research, also reflect input gained from nearly 3,000 New Jersey educators through a statewide survey and numerous focus groups as well as from state education associations and national experts.

Each school district will develop its own professional development plan based upon the statewide standards approved by the Commissioner. These committees are comprised of four teacher representatives elected by instructional and educational services staff. Next month the department will provide to these district committees guidelines that will help in the development of their plans and an explanation of activities that should count as professional development for the 100 hour requirement. The continuing education requirement will be effective in September 2000.