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November 16, 2017

New Jersey QSAC Updates: Cheat Sheet

Headshot of a former team member Kevin Rooney.

Kevin Rooney

Former Principal

Although the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) was adopted in 2005, there are major changes on the horizon for this school year.

The New Jersey Department of Education explains that these changes (effective July 1) are part of a “broader effort to clarify, align and simplify New Jersey’s accountability systems.” Driving many of these changes being that many previous indicators were developed prior to PARCC as well as ESSA, and don’t include AchieveNJ in the indicators.

Here are some ways that QSAC is staying the same, and what’s changing next year:

What is staying the same for QSAC?

  1. Conducted once every 3 years in each school district.
  2. Includes 5 key component areas:
    1. Instruction and Program
    2. Fiscal Management
    3. Governance
    4. Operations
    5. Personnel
  1. Requires each district to satisfy at least 80% of the weighted performance indicators in all 5 areas (failing necessitates a district improvement plan).

How is QSAC Changing?

1. New Graduation Rate Calculation

In the current version of QSAC graduation rates are based on percent of students who graduated from high school via HSPA and without subgroup considerations. Next year, the indicator uses graduation rate of the total student population and all student subgroups.


The Instruction and Program indicators change all references for NJASK/HSPA to PARCC. Since PARCC is being used to measure student growth using Student Growth Percentile for both total population and all subgroups – this change is reflective of what is already happening.

3. Guiding the Lesson Planning Process

Lesson planning will still be a part of Instruction and Program as part of the alignment of curriculum and state standards. However, the emphasis on providing supervisory feedback on standard-aligned lesson plans has shifted to Personnel Indicator (#6).

Learn how Stacy Saia uses data visualization for better QSAC meetings: “It made that QSAC meeting amazing, and probably the best one we’ve ever had.”

4. AcheiveNJ Alignment

The entire Personnel section of QSAC is aligned to include wording consistent with the TeachNJ Act (AchieveNJ). This includes evaluations, SGOs, mSGP and summative ratings.

5. Additional Elements Required Under “Operations”

The indicators for HIB, NJSMART, EVVRS, and policies on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use will now be under the Operations You’ll also need to provide documentation for services such as counseling, nursing, guidance, and a positive school environment.

6. Adherence to Professional Standards

Introducing: Personnel indicator 2a! The state will now be looking for “high quality professional learning that’s aligned with professional development”. PDPs are to be aligned to professional standards, and may change the way districts prepare their PDPs.

7. Integration of Technology Standards

Technology standards are not listed in a standalone indicator in the alignment of curriculum and instruction. Instead they’re included in each of the subject area standards in Instruction and Program indicators 9h – 15h.

8. Chronic Absenteeism

To align with the new federal program called ESSA; chronic absenteeism (students who miss 10% or more of school) will replace average daily attendance rate of 90%.

The NJDOE website has a complete list of the NJQSAC indicators for your review if you’re interested in exploring further.

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