Sunday Leftovers

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Districts on Spending Spree with ARRA Funds:

N.J. schools are happily spending Federal stimulus funds –ARRA money — intended to beef up supplies, programming, and professional development for poor and special needs kids. The Star-Ledger reports today that eligible districts are on buying sprees, while opinions differ on whether the extra money, intended to last for two years, will make any difference. Assemblyman Joseph Malone says districts will misspend it. David Sciarra of Education Law Center says these types of investments can’t “be sustained over time.” The DOE says, “This is a great hope for kids who need help.”

Wall Street Journal
on whether Duncan and Obama will put their money where their mouths are:

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel told the Washington Post last week that charter schools and merit pay raise difficult issues for his members, yet Education Secretary Arne Duncan has said states that block these reforms could jeopardize their grant eligibility. We’ll see who blinks first. The acid test is whether Messrs. Duncan and Obama are willing to withhold money from politically important states as the calendar marches toward 2012.

Charlie Barone Does Stand-Up on AFT Prez’s Logic:

Teaser: “The argument being advanced by the interest groups that are lining up in opposition to President Obama’s and Secretary Duncan’s call to tear down teacher-student data firewalls bear a striking similarity to hamburger eating and eternal happiness.”

James Ahearn of The Record
explains why school consolidation is doomed.

Ray Pinney, NJSBA’s resident blogger
explains the inefficacy of educational competition.

The Courier Post editorializes
on the lack of leadership in Camden schools:

Camden School Superintendent Bessie LeFra Young is not showing the leadership necessary to correct this sinking ship.Since she won’t do it, we can only ask — again — that Corzine exercise his authority and ensure this district is run efficiently and without fraud and graft.

Dysfunctional School Board of the Week Award Goes to:

Easton Area School Board, where Board member Pat Vulcano Jr., reports Lehigh Valley News, is contemplating joining his daughter in suing the district. Vulcano’s daugher, who was hired as a fifth-grade teacher last year, is suing the district for not rehiring her after she failed to earn the credits necessary for teacher certification.

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