Quote of the DayJune 14, 2009
Corzine, Daggett, Christie TriptychJune 15, 2009
High School Redesign:
The Star-Ledger begins a series today on New Jersey high school reform. Today’s piece is on the D.O.E.’s High School Redesign, which raises the academic bar to graduate. Tomorrow they’ll focus on the S.R.A., the controversial and overused Special Review Assessment given to high school juniors and seniors who fail the HSPA (the standard 11th grade test required for graduation) three times.
Spinning Health Insurance Premium Contributions:
Which lede would you choose? “12% of N.J. public school teachers already pay a portion of their health insurance premium” or “Only 12% of N.J. public school teachers pay any part of their health insurance premium.” The Star-Ledger votes for the former, New Jersey Newsroom (mostly relying on NJSBA propaganda) on the latter.
50% or 60% on Second Questions?:
A Board member from Denville in Morris County has filed a suit in Superior Court regarding the new State regulation that second ballot questions attached to school budgets need a 60% plurality. Denville Public Schools, reports the Ledger, had a second question of $240,145 for extra-curricular activities and a custodian; the final tally was 59.4%, so the question failed. The Board member, Al Gellene, alleges that “the margin is arbitrary and violates federal one-man, one-vote fairness rules.”
Yea or Nay on Charter Schools:
The Los Angeles Times has a three-part series that pits a charter school advocate against a charter school opponent.
Science Opportunities: Newark vs. Ramsey:
The Record had a piece two weeks ago that we missed, but it’s definitely worth a look: a description of a delegation from Newark Public Schools that visited Ramsey Public Schools. Newark has an “A” DFG, which means its one of the most impoverished towns in N.J. Ramsey, in Bergen County, is an “I” on a scale of “A” through “J.” The cost per pupil in Newark is about $19,000 per year, plus two years of free full-day preschool. The cost per pupil in Ramsey is $13,600. Yet the article describes the awe-struck reactions of the Newark visitors as they heard recitations of only 200 kids to a guidance counselor or viewed one of the science labs:
“Now THIS is what a lab should look like!” [Raymond Yarborough of the PTA at Science Park High School in Newark] exclaimed, walking into a recently refurbished classroom. “They got hot plates. Scales. Beakers. A hood — oh, that’s important. This is what I’m talking about! Look at these microscopes!”
How long will it take us to learn that it’s not about the money?