Dueling PACS: “Garden State Forward, the PAC operated by the state’s largest teachers union, is up with a new ad touting Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono’s education plan.
The commercial, entitled “Barbara,” is part of an $870,000 advertising purchase and will run on both cable and network television in the Philadelphia and New York media markets, according to two sources familiar with the buy.” (Star-Ledger)
Also from the Star-Ledger, here’s the latest on the Christie PAC:
The ad says, “The Star-Ledger called Barbara Buono’s education plan “a giant disappointment.” A direct threat to the promising reforms underway. Buono is siding against poor kids who need a governor’s help. She opposes merit pay for teachers but voted to raise her own pay 40 percent.”
The tenor of the 30-second spot, “The Difference,” changes when the governor is introduced: “The Christie difference? The most funding for education in New Jersey’s history. A real commitment to a good education for every child.
It’s never a good sign when a board publicly splits when hiring a superintendent. From The Record:
The Bloomfield Middle School principal beat out Montclair High School Principal James Earle by a 5-to-3 vote. Smith joined board members Paula Zaccone and Kent Weisert in the “no” votes but said they would support Goncalves as superintendent. All three said other candidates were better qualified. In addition to Earle, Berkeley School Principal Heather Carr was a finalist but eliminated last month.
“I’m going with my gut,” Zaccone said, noting a difficult decision. “My vote represents a no decision for the current nominee. I need to follow my conscious.”
KIPP charter schools announced a new partnership with Rutgers-Camden in order to motivate poor urban students to attend college. From the Philadelphia Inquirerer: “only 11 percent of low-income students graduate from college. In KIPP schools, 40 percent of low-income students graduate from college, but the new university partnerships aim to double that number.” Also see NJ Spotlight.
From NJ Spotlight: “Two more private schools are bidding to become public charter schools in the latest round of charter applications in New Jerseyl…The two proposals both came out of Newark, where the Link School and Affirmation Academy are both seeking to convert to public charters able to accept public dollars instead of tuition.
In case you missed it, check out the fun post-Christie/Buono debate roundtable at NJ Spotlight.
New Jersey is one of 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, to apply for a piece of the U.S. DOE’s newest Race To the Top competition. This one is focused on early childhood education and the total pot is $280 million. (Politics K-12)
The New York Times Editorial Board weighs in on the ongoing dispute between mayor-candidates Bill DeBlasio and Joe Lhota on the role of charter schools in NYC and how to balance needs of teachers, families, and students:
The teachers’ union is never going to fall in love with charter schools because a vast majority of them are not unionized, and they have real financial advantages because their work force is younger and more transient and their payrolls, pensions and medical costs are lower. Many charters plow these savings back into education — hiring social workers, lengthening the school day, or staffing classrooms with more than one teacher as a way of helping disadvantaged children. Whoever is mayor should encourage this practice. Mr. de Blasio says he would charge rents based on each school’s ability to pay and insists that this would not hurt programs or cause layoffs. But it could penalize high-performing schools that have demonstrably helped poor children..