N.J. reviewing proposals to help teachers be their best

New Jersey lawmakers are looking into ways to help enhance teacher effectiveness.

On Thursday, members of the Assembly Education Committee heard from Patricia Wright, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.

About 40 percent of new teachers leave the profession in the first five years, she said.

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“This constant turnover really has a cost to it,” Wright said. “Students suffer from lack of continuity in classroom instruction, and districts must bear the expense of constantly hiring and training new teachers.”

A better approach is needed than relying on test scores to judge teacher accountability, teachers say.

Lawmakers will examine ways to improve teacher preparation, mentoring and career development to help students succeed, said Assemblyman Pat Diegnan, committee chairman.

“Everybody is looking for a magic bullet, whether it be Common Core or PARCC testing, and we seem to be ignoring the obvious,” said Diegnan, D-Middlesex. “They key to a quality education are quality, well-prepared teachers.”

Among the proposals lawmakers will consider are means to increase cooperation, share effective techniques and support incentives for teachers to be innovators, he said.

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