Sunday Leftovers

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NJ Spotlight reviews Sen. Teresa Ruiz’s tenure reform bill, slated for a public hearing before the Senate Education Committee tomorrow morning. Here’s the latest version of the bill.

Also in NJ Spotlight
, Ed. Comm. Cerf explains his opposition to public disclosure of teacher evaluations:

“I don’t believe in that,” Cerf said in an interview last night. “It is counterproductive, and I believe it is not something we should put out. And especially putting that out in isolation, it’s against everything we want to do.”

Joan Whitlow reports that Newark Public Schools is paying $8.5 million in salaries and benefits every year to 84 “Employees Without Placement Sites” because of declining student enrollment. Newark Teacher Union President Joe Del Grosso explained that” if the district had gone strictly by seniority, letting nontenured teachers go first, then the tenured teachers, based on least seniority. That would have been within tenure law and contract language, and would have avoided creating the pool of tenured jobless that the district must still pay, he asserted.” Whitlow notes, “yes, but it might also mean good, energetic young teachers would be lost, while teachers who had burned out long ago — or never had the right stuff — would be retained.”

The Asbury Park Press reports that Newark Mayor Cory Booker backs Gov. Christie’s agenda of teacher tenure reform and expanded school choice.

Gov. Christie told MSNCB’s ‘Morning Joe Scarborough that he expects a pilot version of the Opportunity Scholarship Act to get passed this year. (The Record, Courier Post.)

NJ’s Comptroller Matthew Boxer recommends that public employees, including NJEA members, should all be enrolled in the state-run health plan, but NJEA President Barbara Keshishian says that would be a violation of collective bargaining rights. (PolitickerNJ)

Clifton Public Schools is a good case study of a district that saw its state aid increased this year, but that extra aid still leaves it short compared to the halcyon years of 2009 and before. The School Board President there says it’s special education funding (or lack thereof) which represents an “extraordinary burden” for Clifton.

The NJ DOE announced that Emily Fischer Charter School in Trenton and PleasanTech Charter School in Pleasantville will be closed for poor student performance. Emily Fisher Charter School, also in Trenton, and Classical Academy Charter School in Clifton are on double secret probation. The DOE also reported that Rutgers University Graduate School of Education will conduct an independent evaluation of the teacher evaluation pilot program now underway in 10 NJ districts.

State Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle says she intends to find state funding for the implemention of NJ’s anti-bullying law.

The South Brunswick Patch reports on state test scores: “Schools in the higher DFG categories tend to fare better: In A schools, most of which are in special needs districts, 69.9 percent passed language arts; 46.9 percent, math. J schools had passing rates of 97.7 percent in language arts; 93.5 percent, math.”

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