Burzichelli Proposes Incorporating Parental Involvement as a Factor in New Teacher Evaluations

Assemblyman John Burzichelli has introduced legislation to incorporate the critical factor of parental involvement into the new teacher evaluations established under the state’s recently enacted tenure reform law.

Burzichelli noted that under the “Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey Act” that went into effect in 2012, commonly referred to as tenure reform, a teacher is evaluated based on multiple measures, however, parental involvement is not one of them.

“Parents certainly play an important role in raising student performance and closing educational achievement gaps, but currently the degree of parental support is not a factor in measuring student achievement for the purposes of a teacher’s evaluation,” said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/ Salem). “This bill incorporates a fairer and more balanced approach to teacher evaluations by recognizing that a student’s success does not rest solely on the shoulders of a teacher and that parental involvement has long been a key factor in a child’s outcome.”

Burzichelli’s bill would ensure that the methodology used to evaluate student achievement for purposes of a teacher’s evaluation would incorporate a means to quantify the impact parental involvement has on a student’s achievement.

Under the bill, the Commissioner of Education would be required to develop guidance on methods to quantify the degree and impact of parental involvement on student achievement for purposes of the evaluation rubric for teachers.

The commissioner may incorporate the use of the following factors in quantifying the degree and impact of parental involvement: the parent’s responsiveness to communications initiated by the teacher; the parent’s participation in parent-teacher conferences; the student’s completion rate for homework; and the parent’s responsiveness in returning documents requiring the parent’s signature.

The legislation was introduced on Thursday.