New Spotlight Column: Is NJ Overusing Data in Assessing Student Growth and Teacher Performance?September 13, 2013
New Study: Effectiveness of Teach for America Teachers vs. Noviced and Experienced Traditional Route TeachersSeptember 16, 2013
NJEA claims that “NJ politicians have cut state school aid by $1.3 billion.” Politi-Fact rates this statement “true.”
Steve Lonegan and Tea Partiers hate on the Common Cores State Standards: “No one-size-fits-all model will serve our children, nor will it serve our nation,” Lonegan said at a news conference outside the state Department of Education, vowing to quash the program from Washington if he’s elected in the special election Oct. 16.” Also see NJ Spotlight.
From the Star-Ledger: “More than 600 people — from elementary school teachers, to New Jersey Education Association officials, to concerned citizens — have weighed in on new proposed rules for teacher evaluations and tenure. ” Here are the comments.
Sen. Ray Lesniak is sponsoring a bill that would permit charter schools to serve specific populations of special needs kids. Current charter school law doesn’t permit any admissions restrictions beyond issues of residency. The impetus for the bill is an aspiring charter in Elizabeth for high school students with substance abuse problems. The school, by the way, would be named for Lesniak.
The Star-Ledger reviews the DOE’s release of superintendent salaries in NJ (and other other state employees. Top earners are Diana Lobosco of the Passaic County Technical Institute who makes $264,579 per year (special services districts are exempt from the salary cap) and recently-retired Brad Draeger of Livingston, who made $259,574 per year.
This is the environment in which Camden parents send their kids to school: “Police have confirmed a ‘stray bullet’ has struck a school bus with students inside near the intersection of 9th Street and Ferry Avenue.” (South Jersey News)
Parents of Trenton High School students send their children to school amid reports of “rodents running amok, a roof that leaks when it rains setting off the fire alarm and teachers allegedly being diagnosed with cancer from constant mold exposure.” See Trenton Times and the Trentonian.
Jackson Township is saving money by serving more special needs kids in-district, although not without incurring legal expenses. (Asbury Park Press.)
Asbury Park has a new state monitor to oversee its superintendent hiring process.
NJ Spotlight looks more closely at a NJ School Boards’ conclusion that teacher salary increases show a trend downward: “the decline in pay increases appears to be ebbing, if not ending, with recent settlements starting to creep up a little from what were historic lows.”
Motoko Rich of the NY Times profiles Diane Ravitch. Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, regards her as a hero –“Diane has continued to push that envelope and give people such hope”– but “[h]er critics call Ms. Ravitch a shill for teachers’ unions and accuse her of cherry-picking data to condemn charter schools or test-based accountability.”