New Jersey is starting a Teach for America-ish program, creating a partnership with the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Foundation to recruit “top collegiate science and math students to become high school teachers in the state’s neediest districts,” reports the Star-Ledger. Additional coverage from the Courier-Post, which notes that fellows will receive an annual $30K stipend for a three-year commitment.
John Mooney analyzes campaign spending during the recent school board elections and finds that, contrary to expectations, candidates spent less. This is due in large part to the fact that the “New Jersey Education Association, the powerful statewide teachers union, spent virtually nothing on the elections — after shelling out more than $4 million in the past decade and upward of $750,000 in 2011 alone.”
NJ Spotlight also reports on the Christie Administration’s proposal to create an alternative route for charter school teachers. NJEA opposes the provision, which is “tucked deep within the administration’s Professional Licensure and Standard Code for NJ Teachers.”
Beleaguered Trenton is “embark[ing] on an ambitious restructuring project to ease overcrowding in schools,” reports the Trenton Times. Overcrowding is not the district’s only problem. This expose from the Trentonian describes conditions at Trenton Central High School:
The landmark building on Chambers Street that is home to Trenton Central High School is crumbling as students sit in the classrooms trying to learn. Case in point, just last Tuesday water from heavy rains made it through the roof into the classroom walls and activated a fire alarm.“The fire alarm does not just go off when there is a fire, but also when it has contact with water” said head custodian Larry Loper.More then to 2,000 students had to evacuate the building and stand in the rain while firefighters secured the building and turned the alarm off.
The Record reports on an administrative exodus from Fort Lee Public Schools.
About four decades ago, most of the children S.S.I. covered had severe physical handicaps or mental retardation that made it difficult for parents to hold jobs — about 1 percent of all poor children. But now 55 percent of the disabilities it covers are fuzzier intellectual disabilities short of mental retardation, where the diagnosis is less clear-cut. More than 1.2 million children across America — a full 8 percent of all low-income children — are now enrolled in S.S.I. as disabled, at an annual cost of more than $9 billion
That is a burden on taxpayers, of course, but it can be even worse for children whose families have a huge stake in their failing in school. Those kids may never recover: a 2009 study found that nearly two-thirds of these children make the transition at age 18 into S.S.I. for the adult disabled. They may never hold a job in their entire lives and are condemned to a life of poverty on the dole — and that’s the outcome of a program intended to fight poverty.