The decade-long experiment with local, district and county professional development boards has come to an end.
At its June meeting, the State Board of Education adopted regulations proposed by the N.J. Department of Education that reduce the role that teachers play in their own professional development by eliminating these bodies.
Local, district and county professional development boards came into existence when the so-called 100-hour PD requirement became mandatory in 2001. Although the capacity of these bodies varied from district to district, the structure of the system gave educators input into the professional development that was offered in their districts.
The 100-hour requirement has also changed. Previously, educators were required to earn the hours over a five-year period. The new regulations require that 20 hours of professional development be acquired each year.
The new code also eliminated the State Professional Teaching Standards Board, replacing it with a “professional learning community” appointed by the commissioner of education.
Throughout the code adoption process, NJEA criticized these proposals on the grounds that they excluded teachers from the professional development process. NJEA characterized these regulations as a “top-down, one-size-fits-all approach.”