Senate Republicans are pushing a proposal that would slash preschool funding in poor districts by $300 million and send that money back to suburban districts, according to the Star-Ledger. Some details from the Wall St. Journal:
The Senate Republicans would send $200 million to other districts that have hit funding caps, give $50 million to districts that spend the least per pupil to encourage “efficiency” and launch a $30 million program for data-based teacher evaluation and instruction in the state’s poorer districts. Districts that bus students long distances would get extra help, and $3.3 million would go to a handful of towns with high senior citizen populations.
Christie went to DC and “delved into what has become the theme of his second year in office: dramatically changing the pension system, expanding charter schools, offering school choice to poor children, giving merit pay to good teachers, and forcing all unionized public workers, including police officers and firefighters, to contribute more to their benefits.”
Bob Braun in the Star-Ledger recounts an attempted desegregation of Plainfield, New Brunswick, and Englewood back in 1971. “But nothing happened…both the state and the courts backed off. School desegregation, and whatever it might have done for school achievement among our poorest children, faded as a solution—and as a reality.” He notes,
Public schools are more segregated than ever. In Essex County, East Orange schools are 99.8 black and Hispanic. Irvington, 98 percent. Newark, 92 percent. Millburn schools—a short bus ride from these cities—are 98 percent white. New Jersey tolerates racial isolation.
NJ Spotlight considers whether a newly-approved charter school for children with autism violates federal and state mandates for “least restrictive environment.”
Sam Passow in The Record contends that a newly-approved Hebrew language immersion charter school for Englewood and Teaneck won’t help the mostly black and Hispanic kids there.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress released test scores in science for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders. Less than half of these students have reached proficiency and a “tiny fraction” show “advanced skills that could lead to careers in science and technology.”
The mom in Ohio jailed for enrolling her children in a higher-performing district is making headlines everywhere. (Common story in NJ: without the jail time but with the levying of tuition costs and suspension of student enrollment.)
Edweek looks at the Houston Independent School District, which has a progressive merit pay program but awards the money to 92% of employees.