Quote of The DayMarch 22, 2013
New Jersey Taking Over Camden Public SchoolsMarch 25, 2013
The Star-Ledger, the Asbury Park Press, and NJ Spotlight cover the new report out on the effectiveness of NJ’s Abbott Preschool Program, which shows that participating children outperform kids who don’t attend full-day preschools. Also, contrary to some other national studies, these high-poverty kids retain that advantage through 4th and 5th grade. The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board is less gung-ho.
Last week, eight NJ school boards held referenda to approve construction projects. Four passed and four failed. In all, $25,662,419 was approved among Weymouth Township in Atlantic County, North Arlington in Bergen, Bellmawr in Camden County, and Livingston in Essex. Here’s the details from NJ School Boards Association.
The South Jersey Times looks at NJEA’s endorsement of Sen. Barbara Buono: “Buono has clear, NJEA-friendly differences with Christie over school vouchers, charter schools, state aid, etc., to which she can give voice. The onus is still on her, however, to defend her votes against public employment compensation changes that have helped lift New Jersey, its towns and its school districts out of their fiscal morass.”
NJ Spotlight breaks down Student Growth Percentiles, the NJ DOE’s method for incorporating student test score data into teacher evaluations.
Ross Danis, president and CEO of the nonprofit Newark Trust for Education, comments on the abrupt departure of Greg Taylor as the CEO of the Foundation for Newark’s Future, and touts the Newark Trust for Education’s tracking of Newark schools’ resources.
From the Courier-Post: “The state Department of Education approved a two-part application for the construction of the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy, sources confirmed Monday.”
“Accusations of racism and anti-Semitism” are bandied about at school board meetings in Spring Valley, NY, where a district that is about 90% minority is governed by an entirely Orthodox Jewish school board. See reference to Lakewood, a NJ district with similar demographics and board leadership.
The Record examines Senate Bill 1501, which would mandate 20 minutes of recess at all NJ public elementary schools. Best line: “I don’t understand why legislators are trying to change students’ ‘sedentary’ behavior at home, by taking time away from instruction at school,” said William Petrick, superintendent for Little Falls School District. “We already have recess at school. Would they please pass a law that requires every parent to take their child outside and play with them?”
Another piece of legislation would require all NJ school districts to offer full-day kindergarten, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Currently 30% of NJ districts only have half-days. NJEA supports the bill, although the article focuses more on nay-sayers, who worry about funding and facilities space. The superintendent of Haddonfield, an “affluent” district, says that “families seem happy with half-days” and “many (pay) for their own after-school programs or offering their own activities and enrichment.”
In other legislative news, NJ Newsroom notes Senate Bill 600, which creates “a task force to improve the funding, delivery and effectiveness of special education programs and services in New Jersey” and was signed by Gov. Christie. NJ spends $3 billion/year on special education.