“Several hundred Newark parents, teachers, students and community activists rallied in Trenton today to demand the return of local control of Newark schools and full funding for the state’s largest school district.” (Star Ledger; also see the Trentonian.)
In related news, NJ Spotlight reports that Sen. Teresa Ruiz released a bill that requires the State to turn over departmental control to state-controlled school districts (in NJ, that’s Newark, Paterson, Jersey City, and Camden) when districts hit 80% on the DOE’s accountability instrument called QSAC. Currently Newark reaches 4 out of 5 benchmarks.
Bob Braun’s gone plain daffy and has fellow travelers on his journey to CrazyLand.
“Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Patrick Diegnan, Jr. and Sheila Oliver recently introduced legislation that would change the state compulsory school age to five and make kindergarten mandatory under the law.”
The Record: “More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.”
Trenton School Board approved a $302 million budget, says the Trenton Times, and coped with the $10.5 million shortfall. “[T]he district estimates 1,973 students will enroll in charters next year — a 28 percent increase.”
Asbury Park Press: “It costs $30,485 to educate one child in Asbury Park — more than it costs to send a student to Rutgers — making it the most expensive K-12 school district in the state, according to 2011-12 data from the state Department of Education. But last year, only 51 percent of the 68 high school seniors graduated. That left 33 students without the skills needed for a diploma. And their failure cost state taxpayers $1 million for the school year.”
Spotlight: Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan proposed a bill that would bar superintendent salary caps.
A parent from Princeton Public Schools explains “How Apraxia Got My Son Suspended From School.”
Camden Public Schools was the subject of a special education audit. From the Philadelphia Inquirer: “This year, 795 of the 1,501 students in special education programs attended their home school and 706 students attended other school programs. “It is optimal for special education students to attend school with their neighborhood peers when reasonable,” Beal wrote in her report.”
Karl Zinsmeister in the Wall St. Journal:
[C]hartering represents one of the great self-organizing movements of our age. It rose up in the face of strong resistance from the educational establishment. It has been powered by independent social entrepreneurs and local philanthropists. It is a response by men and women who refused to accept heartbreaking educational failures that the responsible government institutions showed no capacity to solve on their own.