Sunday Leftovers

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Newark Update: The Newark Advisory School Board mysteriously voted against the opening of six new high schools, but the schools will open anyway. Some already have hundreds of applications. The Star-Ledger quotes one mother understandably flummoxed by the Board’s decision. She sends her four kids to Robert Treat Academy, a high-performing charter, and had this to say about the vote: “My kids are supposed to go to Barringer,” she said, referring to the troubled North Ward high school. “I would home school or foreclose on my house before I let my kids go to Barringer.”’

Also, Board Chair Shavar Jeffries “accused some of his fellow board members of being manipulated by North Ward power broker Steve Adubato into voting against the schools.” The Star Ledger Editorial Board called the vote “dumbfounding,” referred to the School Board as “a craven group,” and noted that “this vote still does tangible damage to the reform movement by undercutting Newark’s reputation at a critical time.”

New Jersey School Boards Association responds to Gov. Christie’s plan for tenure reform, which includes changes that the group has sought for decades: “‘Teachers should not fear tenure reform,’ [NJSBA Exec. Director Marie] Bilik said. ‘The majority of our teachers are dedicated professionals, and state-to-state comparisons of overall student performance illustrate the high level of achievement in New Jersey.'”

However, Assembly Education Chair Patrick Diegnan is outraged.

Central Jersey
looks at the reasons why Highland Park in Middlesex County is applying for the DOE’s expanded Interdistrict School Choice Program.

The Opportunity Scholarship has passed through the Assembly Education Committee, but now Democrats say that it may not make it through either the Assembly or the Senate. Budget Chair Lou Greenwald told the Star-Ledger, “There is no support for the bill in the caucus at its current size. Thirteen towns is not a pilot program, it’s a cultural shift.”

The Feds have awarded NJ $11 million for turn-around schools.

NJ Spotligh
t looks at the recent geyser of red tape in the form of new anti-bullying regulations despite the DOE’s professed devotion to diminishing red tape.

Tom Moran mourns the loss of capable superintendents in NJ public schools, who are wooed across state lines where there are no salary caps.

The Asbury Park Press asks, “does it pay for school districts to outsource support staff?”

The Courier Post
looks at NJ’s culture of nepotism.

Don’t miss the NY Times Magazine profile of Principal Ramón González, who leads a non-charter public middle school in the South Bronx that seems a lot like a charter.

The Daily News
analyzes the repercussions of NYC School Chancellor Cathie Black’s departure.

OT: my son, a TFA corps member in Philadelphia, is looking for paid or unpaid work this summer in the area of education reform/policy. Please contact me directly with any tips.

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  • Emily, April 10, 2011 @ 8:26 pm Reply

    Just sent you an email with a couple of suggestions for your son.

  • A. Gad Fly, April 11, 2011 @ 1:10 pm Reply

    “'Teachers should not fear tenure reform,' [NJSBA Exec. Director Marie] Bilik said.

    Just a second, while I clear the coffee out of my nose… there, that's better…

    Is that like: “We're the government, and we're here to help you.” ??

    All premised on an assumption that Marie “Pollyanna” Bilik must accept unquestioningly: that we have a brilliant, flawless, incorruptible management infrastructure in all our public schools that will only weed out the dead wood. If only it had the authority. Nothing to fear, right?

    But Bilik undercuts her own call for reform:

    “…state-to-state comparisons of overall student performance illustrate the high level of achievement in New Jersey.'”

    We'll leave aside the question of why that is, lest it give us inconvenient insight.

    Sure, it's only “The majority of our teachers [who] are dedicated professionals”, but show me ANY organization that doesn't carry chronic or occasional slackers.

    We all know where the incentives are for all the players when stripped of pretense. Teachers have nothing to fear, my rump.

    Well, it's Bilik's job to lobby for administrator omnipotence. A dubious public benefit.

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