Sunday Leftovers

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Senator Teresa Ruiz, architect of the TEACHNJ tenure reform bill, tells the Star-Ledger that “this month, I intend to post a bill that will be passed and a bill that will be signed.” Her bill would institute a one-year mentorship for new teachers, require three years of consecutive good evaluations to earn tenure, and strip tenure rights after two consecutive years of ineffective teaching. The competing bill, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan’s version, adds an additional year to acquire lifetime tenure rights and submits disputes to binding arbitration. See my analysis here.

I reported last week that data for Trenton Public Schools was missing from the DOE’s School Report Cards. The Times of Trenton explains why. Also, Trenton’s Board President says that the DOE’s calculation of the district’s graduation rate — 47% — is wrong because “our numbers were wrong.”

Also, the Trenton Times Editorial Board presses Gov. Christie and the School Development Authority to fund Trenton Central High’s essential structural improvements: “[t]he state’s mandate to provide a thorough and efficient education is compromised at Trenton Central High School by insistent and inescapable problems that thwart the best efforts of teachers and keep students at a disadvantage.”

In some positive news for Trenton, the Trentonian reports that the Trenton Central High School valedictorian, Jayah Feliciano, is off to Bryn Mawr in the Fall.

The Asbury Park Press totes up the cost per pupil for students in Seaside Park on Long Beach Island (Ocean County) to send 40 kids to Central Regional Intermediate and High School: $112,000 per year per student, “more than double the tuition for Harvard Medical School.” Chalk it up to a peculiarity of the funding formula. “We are the poster child of bad legislation in school funding, but we don’t have the population of votes for anybody to care,” said Bob Martucci, the borough’s administrator. “People look in disbelief and say how can that even happen? The (state) funding formula allows that to happen.”

Atlantic City Public Schools has a new superintendent, Donna Haye. (Press of Atlantic City)

An editorial in the Press of Atlantic City urges the state to adequately fund poor South Jersey districts like Commercial Township and Woodbine and to specifically “take another look at the administration’s school funding proposal, which – in an effort to placate suburban taxpayers – is taking funding away from some of the poorest districts in the state.” (Also, see my analysis here at WHYY Newsworks.)

NJ Spotlight looks at the rising opposition to online charter schools.

Laura McKenna, a political science professor, blogger, and NJ resident, responds to the charge that special education students “steal money” from typical students, disrupt classes, and could be educated for less money.

Welcome to new education blogger Jacob Waters at A Skeptic’s Politics. (Full disclosure: he’s my kid.)

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  • kallikak, June 10, 2012 @ 7:34 pm Reply

    In his new blog, your son asks:”…why should teachers be treated differently from other members of the workforce?”

    Answer: because public schooling is a public, not consumer good and the downsides of at-will hiring and firing (nepotism, cronyism, protected but sub-par performance) cannot be rectified by having consumers (i.e., students) simply shift to a different vendor.

  • Jacob (, June 11, 2012 @ 1:12 am Reply

    Hi Kallikak–You're right, students aren't able to “vote with their feet” the way that a consumer potentially could. But schools could be held accountable in other ways, including student achievement. As I see it, the relationship is not “consumer-producer” as much as “principal-agent”–the public (principal) is paying schools and their staff (agent) to educate students; if the agent is not performing satisfactorily, they would no longer be hired.

    Please post any further comments you have on my actual blog–much easier that way, I think. Thanks for reading.


  • kallikak, June 11, 2012 @ 11:53 am Reply

    Until the legislature and Governor let their obsession with November elections and the prospective politicization of school boards overtake their common sense, all elected boards in this state afforded their constituents the opportunity to hold local districts accountable via the tax levy vote.

    Also, you unfairly denigrate (kinda like the Governor, his “expert” panels, some legislators, and most so-called “reformers”) the ability and will of school boards to make changes at all levels in the face of sub-par performance.

  • Marta Clavero, August 14, 2012 @ 5:31 am Reply

    After watching this, I just have one thing to say to DaeSung…”GET SOMEEE!“

    Also, if you missed SBS Big Show, you can rewatch the Tonight, What Is Right, and Cafe performances on Big Bang’s official Youtube channel.


    JT’s 4th Mini-album Big Bang VN
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    I’m really impressed with this mini-album. It shows how much BB has grown in 2 years they’ve been away. I have to say, this whole mini-album was very J-Pop influenced, well considering “Hands Up” and “Somebody to Love” were originally Japanese songs.

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    Yes, Cafe deserves it’s own paragraph. Cafe is really an amazing song. It’s like there’s a bunch of upbeat J-Pop-ish K-pop then there’s this one chill song at the end. Just like on the “Stand Up” mini-album, all K-pop songs, then there’s “Oh My Friend.” It’s one song that completely stands out. Just like DaeSung said during SBS The Big Bang Show…

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