Camden Mom Explains Why Her Children Need School Choice; NJEA, ELC, and SOS-NJ Fight BackAugust 28, 2015
Some (Unsolicited) Advice to NEA and AFT LeadersAugust 31, 2015
Everyone is talking about the teacher in Roosevelt who was tardy more than a hundred times over the past two years. The arbitrator ordered that the district must lift his suspension in January and resume paying him his $90K per year because they it didn’t provide “progressive discipline.” (Like an alarm clock?) See the Star-Ledger, Education Week, CBS News, NY Daily News, Talking Points Memo, Times Argus (in Vermont). (And file under “Why N.J. Still Needs Tenure Reform.”)
The Press of Atlantic City reports that the A.C. school district, which had to lay off 225 teachers because of budget cuts, was able to rehire 29 teachers.
The Asbury Park Press reports on local districts’ teacher evaluation results: “In Monmouth County, 2 percent, or 185 teachers, were deemed “partially effective” or “ineffective.” In Ocean, 1 percent, or 54 teachers, earned the two bottom scores, according to the results.”
Newark Superintendent Chris Cerf reported to the city’s school board on this far more successful second year of allowing parents to choose among the city’s public schools, both traditional and charter. Interesting, only 25% of incoming kindergarten parents prefer their neighborhood schools, in stark contrast to the anti-reform rhetoric coming from Chicago and NOLA. Cerf, via the Star-Ledger: “Overall, parents are engaged and exercising their voice. They’re demonstrating in huge numbers that they prefer choice. They’re expressing greater satisfaction with process and how they’ve been treated throughout,” he said.
Also from the Star-Ledger re: reform efforts in Camden:
As parents prepare themselves for another nine months of textbooks, tests and trips, Camden City School District leaders are taking concerns to heart and folding them into practices for the coming school year.
The five promises that came from Superintendent Paymond Rouhanifard’s 100-day listening tour continue to play a prominent role. However, having recently wrapped up his 55th public meeting, Rouhanifard said what’s on the minds of parents, teachers and students is an ever-evolving issue requiring thought-out fixes.
“Our families want immediate results,” said Rouhanifard, not something “esoteric.”
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerville) proposed a pension reform plan for teachers (the fund will run dry in 12 years) but NJEA said no. And the blog called New Jersey Education Aid predicts that the state will be unable next year to fully fund either the School Funding Reform Act formula or teacher pensions because of continuing state job losses and general economic woes.
This week there’s been some extraordinary writing about the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans public school system’s transformation. See, for starters, U.S. Sec. of Ed. Arne Duncan, NOLA Superintendent John White, The 74, and Chris Stewart,