Don’t miss Tom Moran’s editorial today on teacher tenure, which the Perth Amboy Superintendent describes as “the single greatest impediment to education improvement in New Jersey, without a doubt.” Kudos to NJEA’s leadership; Vince Giordano, Executive Director, tells Moran, “We’ve turned a corner. We want to be part of the solution.”
According to the Data Quality Campaign, NJ lags behind 27 states in effective use of student data to improve instructions. Says The Record, “New Jersey can track K-12 data over time, for example, but does not yet produce reports using that data to guide change. The state also does not have a purposeful research agenda, the report said.”
Today’s Star-Ledger notes that “roughly one-third of the state’s school board members have failed to comply with a law signed seven months ago that requires all members to undergo criminal background checks.” Members of boards from Asbury Park, Plainfield, and Atlantic City have been removed for drug possession crimes.
Supporters and detractors of the Opportunity Scholarship Act held rallies this week as the Legislature entertains the possibility of passing some version of the original bill. 2,500 supporters demonstrated in Trenton on Thursday (Star-Ledger) and 75 opponents gathered in Jersey City (NJ Spotlight)
Carly Bolger, director of the NJ Department of Education’s charter school office, has a new gig as Director of the New Schools Office in Chicago. Bolger is leaving because of a relationship in Chicago. (NJ Spotlight)
Speaking of charter schools (and also in NJ Spotlight), four of these autonomous public schools have filed a petition with Ed. Comm. Chris Cerf asking for their full share of funding as stipulated under law. Charters are supposed to get 90% of per pupil funding (local districts keep 10%) but many charters receive far less. Shelly Skinner, a Board member of a charter in Jersey City, noted, “We’re required to provide a thorough and efficient education like everyone else, but we don’t have the resources. Parents didn’t just waive their right to that when they enroll in a charter, and that is what the state is asking them to do.”
Jersey City Public Schools has a replacement for former Superintendent Charles Epps. Associate Superintendent Franklin Walker will take the helm after a School Board vote of 6-3, reports the Jersey Journal.
Mike Lilley of Better Education For Kids and Tim Melton of Students First have an editorial in the Star-Ledger describing their group’s agenda: “the interests of students must be the first priority. Second, there must be an effective teacher in every classroom. Third, teachers must be given the necessary training and resources to be effective. And fourth, all public policy — and all administrative and personnel policies — must support these goals.”
From the Star-Ledger: “Two contractors have admitted rigging bids and inflating school contracts for construction projects in the Westfield and Scotch Plains-Fanwood school districts, the state Attorney General’s Office said today.”
Here’s a follow-up from The Record on the Wayne Hills football players accused of “badly beating up” two fellow students.
In other football news, the Philadelphia Eagles will foot the bill for a new artificial turf field for Camden High.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg, in what the Wall Street Journal describes as “off-the-cuff comments” at MIT, said, “If I had the ability, which nobody does really, to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them, and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”