Prior to 2012, New Jersey law on the granting tenure to public school teachers was strictly based on length of service -- after just three years of employment as a teacher and with no additional evaluation or criteria, lifetime tenure would be granted. As many states moved away from this time-served system to a merit-based system, New Jersey, bolstered by its powerful and influential teacher’s union, resisted any changes to the system it had used for more than hundred years.
RCSG developed a series of research-based policy proposals that were shared with legislative leaders, key members of senate and assembly committees and other public education stakeholders to build consensus and support for this bold reform. Utilizing grassroots advocacy, media engagement, public policy research and direct legislative lobbying, RCSG was able to help secure unanimous legislative support for the historic teacher tenure reform legislation.
RCSG was able to navigate an extremely volatile political environment and build a rare consensus between Republican Governor Chris Christie and the Democrat controlled state legislature, securing unanimous support for the legislation in both the state senate and general assembly. In August 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed the Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act, a “revolutionary” bipartisan overhaul of the oldest teacher tenure law in the nation.
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