New Plan to Improve New Jersey Public Education [AUDIO]
A New Jersey lawmaker is pushing a plan to raise the bar on public education in the Garden State.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton has introduced legislation to create programs that would boost the performance of both students and teachers and attract quality educators to critical subject areas.
"One measure is designed to encourage more high-excelling teachers to offer instruction in science, technology, engineering and math, through a student loan forgiveness program, because as we all know, we live in a global economy, and the STEM - the science, technology, engineering and math - those fields are what is going to carry our economy moving forward," says Singleton.
His measure would forgive up to $9,000 in student loans or the outstanding balance of the principal and interest of eligible student loan expenses, whichever is less, following the third consecutive year of full-time employment as a teacher of STEM subjects or special education in a public school.
Another bill would establish a Flexible Pathways Initiative, which calls for a personalized learning plan to be developed for each student.
"The idea is to really look at what our children are doing, and doing well, and make sure that we expound on that so they have an opportunity to have success academically," he says. "If we start that early on, they can be life-long learners and do well moving forward."
Singleton's third bill would direct the State Board of Education, in consultation with an advisory board of educational professionals, to establish standards for the improvement of teacher preparation and certification programs and raise the bar for students looking to become teachers.
"There is nothing more critical," he says "than making sure all of our children have the best education opportunity to move forward."
All three bills have been referred to the Assembly Education Committee.