EDUCATION

Education commissioner’s back-to-school checklist

BY John Mooney, Education writer |

New Jersey Education commissioner Lamont Repollet sat down with NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney this week to talk about the new school year and his priorities going forward.

In an interview held at NJTV News’ Agnes Varis studios in Newark, the former Asbury Park superintendent described his biggest accomplishments and also what he felt was his biggest piece of unfinished business as the state’s education leader.

Proudest accomplishments:

“The pre-K expansion. I think the fact that now we have over 5,500 new students in schools, and it’s not just in urban communities, it’s throughout the state of New Jersey, all zip codes … I think it’s a great way to boost the economy in the state, as far as the local communities, but more importantly, it gives our kids, early learners, an opportunity to really start early and getting a high-quality education.”

Next generation of testing:

“We’re going to be looking at all options. I’m not going to sit and say right now exactly what it is because we’re still ascertaining information …”

“What’s the best test or best assessment for New Jersey? We want to make sure that assessment is fair, we want to make sure that we can get it back in a timely fashion, we want to make sure that those individuals taking it are not frustrated at the high stake testing. So we’re gonna try to eliminate some of the anxiety of the assessment.”

When will we see it?:

“In the beginning, I talked about moving in a methodical pace. I think it’s important in our districts, in our community … they don’t need for us to rush this product.”

Vaping:

“We put some guidelines out last year, and we continue to work. Now with the current situation we have, where our students are getting injured or hurt … we are working with the Department of Health to make sure that we get the most current guidelines or current information and then we’ll put that information out …”

“We do have language within our standards in our health standards, but we are reviewing our health standards to make sure that we incorporate e-cigarettes. We have tobacco, we have narcotics, we have alcohol, but I don’t think we actually have the word e-cigarettes … And then we’re gonna try to convene some type of task force [internally], to see exactly what we can do to support districts.”

TOPIC: EDUCATION