Sunday LeftoversNovember 25, 2012
Smarick: Consider Elimination of Newark Public School DistrictNovember 26, 2012
Earlier this month Jersey City Education Association President Ron Greco refused to sign off on the district’s $40 million Race to the Top application (see coverage here) and wrote a letter to JCEA members explaining that he vetoed the grant because “not one cent is dedicated to negotiation of a new contract. Diane Ravitch then blogged about Mr. Greco’s decision, noting his “courage, insight, wisdom, and conviction.”
A reader who calls herself Jersey Mom, a parent of a Jersey City public school student, responded to Dr. Ravitch and also posted her rebuttal on NJLB’s comment section. (See here.) In addition to pointing out various factual errors in Dr. Ravitch’s blog, she also references Jersey City Superintendent Marcia Lyle’s recent presentation, “Mind the Gap,” which details some of the district’s challenges:
- While there are areas of significant progress, as indicated by 11th grade LAL scores and gains almost across the board in math, there are still large numbers of students who are not performing at or above proficiency across all grades.
- LAL scores in grades 6 and 7 fell in almost every subgroup.
- More than 74% of our Special Education students in grades 3 – 8 are not proficient.
- LEP proficiency levels are low, with over 80% of LEP students not proficient in grades 4 – 7.
- The district continues to lag the state across every grade in both LAL and math, though overall, across grades 3 – 8, it has been closing the gap in both LAL and math.
Says Jersey Mom,
Yes, there are some great teachers. There are also teachers who hightail it out of their buildings every day at 2:30, when class ends. The word among parents is that the contract stipulates they can’t stay past three. Some seem to take that quite seriously. In any event, a six-hour day is a short day in a district where 70 percent of children are so poor they qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Many of these children could benefit from an extended day, especially because the after-care program consists of …. nothing. No structure. Nothing. Teachers who work after care make $40 an hour. I wouldn’t begrudge them a penny of that money, if our children had anything to show for it. They don’t.