Sunday Leftovers

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Top Teachers + No Frills = Great Education?:
The Equity Project
, a new charter school in Harlem, is testing a hypothesis: search across the country for the best teachers around, pay them each $125,000 (with a chance at $25,000 in bonus pay), offer no tenure, lengthen the school day and the school year, and put 30 kids in a class.

The school opens in September with 120 kids in fifth grade, almost all from low-income Hispanic families. There will 8 teachers, who will also fill the duties of assistant principal, supervisor, and other administrators.

Reports the New York Times,

The school…is premised on the theory that excellent teachers — and not revolutionary technology, talented principals or small class size — are the critical ingredient for success. Experts hope it could offer a window into some of the most pressing and elusive questions in education: Is a collection of superb teachers enough to make a great school? Are six-figure salaries the way to get them? And just what makes a teacher great?

Willingboro Pays off Superintendent:
Willingboro Public School District will pay ex-Superintendent Alonzo Kittrels $300,000 to settle his lawsuit against the School Board. The chronology goes something like this:

1) Kittrels serves as superintendent from 2001-2005.
2) The School Board suspends him with pay in, according to MSNBC, “the wake of a financial crisis, which forced the district to borrow $10 million from the state to cover a two-year budget deficit.”
3) Kittrels files lawsuits against the Board because it didn’t properly follow the regulations of the Open Public Meeting Act and claims that his contract is valid through the end of his term, June 30th, 2008.
4) The Board files suit to break the contract. A State Superior Court judge dismisses the suit on procedural grounds.
5) The Board approves a settlement of $300,000.
6) Commissioner Lucille Davy rejects the settlement.
7) Commissioner Davy approves a revised settlement of $300,000.

One Day in the Life of Camden High:
On one Friday in December, reports the Courier-Post, there were five separate violent assaults that resulted in the injury of two staff members, one arrest for cocaine possession and one student charged with improperly pulling the fire alarm. The newly-hired Chief of Security filed 100 pages of memos with Administrators on ways to improve student and staff safety, only to have most of his suggestions rejected or dismissed. He resigned this past April.

Long Odds of Consolidation:
Carole Morris, Monmouth County Executive County Superintendent, says that Monmouth is ripe for consolidation, but “the individual school superintendents have assured her that such a referendum has little chance of success.” In the Asbury Park Press she ponders whether it’s even worthwhile to have a vote, given the long odds.

Dysfunctional School Board of the Week:
Two contenders for today’s award: Berkeley School District Board of Education and Fairfield Board of Education. In Berkeley, the Board forced out Superintendent Joseph Vicari in 2008, when Democrats constituted a majority, and promoted Harry P. Colangelo from an elementary school assistant principal to assistant superintendent, with the understanding that after one year he would be Superintendent. In 2009 Republicans on the Board regained a majority and said “no” to Colangelo. Now the Board is consulting NJSBA on what to do next, reports the Asbury Park Press.

A Board member in Fairfield filed a complaint with local police that a fellow board member alleged “terroristic threats” to her and threatened her with physical violence, reports the Bridgeton News.

Choose your favorite! Phone lines open at noon!

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