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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
Richard Vespucci
Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: March 2, 2005

Commissioner Librera Announces Creation of
Quality Teaching and Learning Task Force

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today announced the creation of a state-level task force designed to recommend ways to implement policy changes to ensure quality of teaching and learning in New Jersey public schools. Commissioner Librera has charged the task force with making recommendations in the following areas:

  • Recognizing and rewarding outstanding teaching by creating the endorsement for a teacher with advanced standing;
  • Supporting and creating an evaluation design for struggling teachers; and
  • Reorganizing schools for quality professional learning at all levels through a team and schoolwide learning process.

Dr. Librera appointed Dr. Morton Sherman, superintendent of the Cherry Hill School District and Michael Cohan, chair of the Professional Teaching Standards Board and staff development and mentoring coordinator of the Union Township Public Schools, to co-chair the task force. The 40-member group is expected to meet for the first time on March 15 and present its recommendations to complete its work by June 16, 2005.

"New Jersey has established itself as a leading state in having effective policies that ensure that students, who are taught by high-quality teachers, have opportunities to succeed at the highest levels," Commissioner Librera said. "I am counting on this task force and its co-chairs to recommend a policy direction that will ensure that we retain this status for our children and their teachers."

Creation of the task force continues a public policy development process that began in December 2004 when Commissioner Librera presented a paper entitled Ensuring Quality Teaching and Learning for New Jersey Student and Educators. The Commissioner and the Department of Education have received considerable input in the weeks since the paper was first distributed. The comments received will be available for the task force to review and expand upon as it continues its work over the next three months.

Commissioner Librera announced the task force at today’s regular monthly meeting of the State Board of Education. Attached is a list of the task force members.