Rice’s DiscourtesyDecember 9, 2011
“Useless” Teacher EvaluationsDecember 12, 2011
Don’t miss Derrell Bradford’s editorial in today’s Courier-Post on the tripod of school reform: teacher evaluations, tenure, and performance pay.
Here’s an update from Asbury Park Press on the 11-1 vote from the Assembly Appropriations Committee to move Bill A 4394, which would give districts the option of November elections and eliminate many budget votes.
NJSBA reports on Senate Bill 2635, which would create a task force to study NJ’s special education program. The squib references the great 2007 NJSBA study, “Financing Special Education in NJ”:
The research found special education costs over $3.3 billion dollars a year in New Jersey, with local school districts supporting 57 percent of the costs, state funds covering approximately 34 percent, and the federal government paying for the remaining 9 percent. The research found the major cost drivers are tuition and transportation for out-of-district placement – with out-of-district placements accounting for 10 percent of the special education population, but making up 40 percent of special education costs.
Carl Golden, in an editorial in the Star-Ledger, notes that, regarding far-reaching education reform, NJEA and Gov. Christie have both become “slightly more conciliatory.” He praises both sides and notes,
Better to be seen as a part of the solution than be demonized as the source of the problem.
It is a tacit recognition that [NJEA’s] political clout has diminished somewhat and working to shape the legislation more in line with its desires is a prudent and potentially successful course rather than a pitched battle with a Chief Executive who relishes swapping haymakers with opponents.
Opposition to the proposed virtual charter school in Teaneck is heating up (The Record). And charter school opponents are planning a rally in Trenton on Friday called Occupy NJDOE. Ray Pinney of NJSBA’s Board Blog considers the issues.
NJ Spotlight examines the teacher evaluation pilot in Newark, which has met resistance from union leadership. Said Superintendent Cami Anderson, “It is absolutely clear to me they played in a role in [the lack of teacher buy-in], and that’s disappointing,” she said. “I believe their members want to be part of this.”
Andrew Rotherham in Time Magazine has a provocative piece on Republican Candidate Newt Gingrich’s foot-in-mouth proposal to employ poor kids as janitors in public schools:
When the former House Speaker gave a lecture at Harvard last month, calling child labor laws “truly stupid” and suggesting that low-income kids should be required to do some manual labor in their schools, it was a classic Gingrich proposal: over-the-top, totally tone-deaf, and way too broad in scope. But it also was not entirely wrong. Although his specifics are often bewildering, it’s hard to deny that Gingrich has a knack for spotting trends in education.