Sunday LeftoversNovember 8, 2009
N.J.’s Reform Report CardNovember 10, 2009
The kids are back in school today after a four-day weekend for the NJEA Convention, which precedes (for most districts) half-days for teacher-parent conferences, which precedes Thanksgiving vacation. November’s a tough month for learning in New Jersey. Apropos, a reader asks: do other states give teachers two full days off with full pay to attend union conventions? Answer: not many. State NEA affiliates in Vermont, Minnesota, Utah, and Wisconsin follow the same practice as in N.J. Maryland closes for one Friday (its convention goes Friday and Saturday, instead of N.J.’s Thursday and Friday). Most states still have conventions but either hold them over a weekend or over the summer.
Relationships between NJEA and our new administrations are strained at best. Might it not be a smart strategic move for the NJEA leadership to extend an olive branch in the form of a couple of extra learning days for kids and a less splintered November? If that’s too much of a stretch, why don’t we split the difference: the NJEA leadership can make the generous offer to shift its annual Convention from Thursday and Friday to Friday and Saturday. NJEA will come off looking beneficient and parents everywhere will give thanks.