Duncan and Cerf: NCLB WaiversSeptember 23, 2011
Ed Reform Idol?September 27, 2011
The Trenton Times ran a two-part series this week (one, two) that describes some of the failings of local charter schools. For counterpoint, see this editorial by Carlos Perez, president of the NJ Charter School Association, who headlines the number of federal grants we’ve lost because of the NJ State Legislature’s failure to pass adequate charter school laws.
Also from the Trenton Times (and a rarely-discussed explanation of why some parents would choose even faltering charter schools): “Two teens were assaulted and stabbed when they were accosted by a group of other teens while walking back home from Trenton Central High School Tuesday afternoon, police said.”
Schools got failing grades in fiscal management, operations, personnel and instruction — which received just 33 percent when 80 percent is a passing grade. The review found just 50 percent of students were graduating and “even this number is overstated,” Cerf wrote, with only 30 percent of those graduates passing the state’s standard High School Assessment test. More than 60 percent of Paterson’s students are deficient in subjects like English and writing, and more than half don’t meet standards in math. The district’s only passing grade was in governance.
NJ Spotlight reports that 2011 is the second year in a row that the School Development Authority, which handles construction projects for schools in need of brick-and-mortar reform, will not break ground on any new projects.
Colts Neck Update: teachers boycotted Back-To-School nights after the school board and the local union reached an impasse on contract negotiations. More from the Asbury Park Press, including the last offer by the board, which was rejected by the union: 1.5% annual salary increases with an increase of instructional time at the middle school.
The non-profit that manages Newark Public Schools’ Facebook grant of $100 million announced that $600K will go towards funding grants submitted by teachers for innovative classroom programs. (Star-Ledger)
New Jersey will join Next Generation Science Standards, which aims to develop a more rigorous science curriculum for American students. 19 other states are also part of the development team.
More on those No Child Left Behind waivers (unless states think that local students will be 100% proficient in reading and math in 2014) : here’s the Wall St. Journal, the New York Times, the Courier-Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer. Also, here’s the U.S. DOE’s official press release and EdWeek’s “Politics K-12” report.
Andy Rotherham grades the GOP presidential candidates on their education records.
Stephen Sawchuk reports on a new data analysis from the U.S. DOE that the attrition rate for first-year teachers “may approach 10%.”
The Fordham Foundation has a new report:”Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students.”