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New Jersey gets federal government permission to keep doing new teacher evaluations

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TRENTON, New Jersey — The federal government has given New Jersey its blessing to keep using its new teacher-evaluation system.

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday told seven states that they could continue practices that vary from the federal No Child Left Behind education law.

One of New Jersey's waivers is to implement new means of grading teachers through a combination of classroom observations and measures that include how much children in certain grades improve on standardized tests.

In the first year of the new system, in 2013-14, a vast majority of teachers rated as effective or highly effective. Those with lower marks get extra help.

The state can also continue a program in which colleges help with teacher training and one that gives grants to foster partnerships between families and schools.

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