Dr. Charles Epps, Superintendent of Jersey City, has gotten the boot from a newly constituted school board. He’ll get a payout of $268K and be gone by Dec. 31st.
NJ Spotlight reviews the impact of the Christie Administration’s superintendent salary cap, and it isn’t all bad: Jane Kershner of the NJ School Boards Association says, “[t]here seems a buzz of excitement where that next level is seeing the opportunity to move up,” said Kershner, whose office assists in about two-thirds of superintendent searches at a given time. ‘In a way, it’s reenergized the field.'”
David Sciarra of Education Law Center says that Gov. Christie’s “has posed as an ‘education reformer’ to mask his budget-cutting agenda” and “has been working hard to bring fair school funding in New Jersey to an end.” (New Jersey Newsroom)
Here’s a sticky-wicket: The US DOE awarded $200,000 in start-up costs to Friends of Tikun Olam in order to get a charter school off the ground in Highland Park. But the NJ DOE has already denied Tikun Olam’s application three times.(Star-Ledger)
Joan Whitlow says that the Foundation for Newark’s Future, the Board that decides how to spend Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million education reform grant, only accepts members who can “plunk down a $10 million donation.”
The Courier Post Editorial Board praises Bill A2806, which allows parochial and private schools to convert to charter schools if they remove all religious content and paraphernalia: “That’s a good thing, because for kids in our state’s poorest cities, such as Camden, which have chronically failing schools despite billions of dollars in extra state aid, well-run private schools and charter schools can offer a good education — the ticket out of lifelong poverty.”
In a sign of the growing focus on education reform, NJ School Boards Association is devoting a day of its annual convention to “Perspectives on Education Reform in NJ.” Panelists include Rev. Reginald Jackson, NJEA Executive Director Vince Giordano, Ed. Comm. Chris Cerf, and Kathleen Nugent of Democrats for Education Reform.
In today’s New York Times, Trip Gabriel analyzes the Republican presidential candidates’ consensus that the Fed’s tight control over education should be relaxed and more power should revert to states and local municipalities, bringing a “sweeping anti-Federalism to the fore of education.” But there are inherent contradictions in this Tea Party-ish approach: “People want government money, they want higher standards, they want greater accountability,” said Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative-leaning education policy group, who was an education official in the Reagan administration. “None of those things in most places comes from local control.”
The Wall St. Journal profiles John White, former NYC Deputy Superintendent under Joel Klein, who is at the helm in New Orleans Recovery School District. Almost all schools there are charters – White says, “In other cities, charter schools exist in spite of the system. Here charter schools are the system” – and there’s some improvement, though a long way to go.