I’m taking a week off, so here’s a few items for you:
In today’s New York Times, Merryl H. Tisch, chancellor of the NY State Board of Regents, reflects on the panic in the Big Apple after the State released the new student scores on assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards:
“Whenever the issue is test scores, that’s not a conversation about education,” Dr. Tisch said. “That’s a conversation about the politics of education. If you want to talk about education, let’s talk about curriculum and professional development.”
John Mooney notes the one-year anniversary of the passage of TEACHNJ, NJ’s revision of its 100-year-old tenure law. Sen. Teresa Ruiz, the architect of the law, reflects on next steps as the legislation goes statewide next month: “New Jersey should be very proud of what it accomplished,” Ruiz said yesterday. “But we can’t stop there. It is one small step, and there are other things we need to talk about, so many other things that are needed to ensure a child’s academic success.”
Also in NJ Spotlight, the DOE is toughening up regulations regarding teacher mentoring, when experienced teachers oversee new teachers. For example, “only teachers who themselves are judged as “effective” or “highly effective” under the new teacher evaluations would be eligible to serve as mentors, and training will need to cover specific areas.”
The Courier Post analyzes the onerous process of charter school authorization which, in the case of Hope Community Charter School in Camden, took three years.
The misconception that charter schools in New Jersey receive no regulation from the state could not be farther from the truth.
The New Jersey Department of Education is involved in just about every step of the planning process.
It can even close down a school found not to be in compliance with certain academic or financial guidelines.
Carlos Perez, president and CEO of the New Jersey Charter Schools Association, said the six charter schools opening this fall will give 1,200 students in New Jersey the opportunity to choose an alternate form of education, a number he said will double over the next four years.
Perez adds that currently 30,000 Jersey kids are in charter schools and another 20,000 are on waiting lists.
From Central Jersey: “A lawsuit filed last week in state Superior Court in Somerville accuses the [Franklin] school district of violating a special-education teacher’s rights under the state Law Against Discrimination because administrators fired her for having breast cancer…Halloran’s complaint says the administration’s decision ostensibly was based on a single classroom review in April, a day before she was scheduled to go under the knife to have 11 cancerous lymph nodes and part of her breast removed.”
Princeton public school students who play team soccer, lacrosse and field hockey will now be required to wear helmets to protect against concussions.
In case you missed it, here’s my WHYY Newsworks column on the role of school vouchers in the dynamics among U.S. Senate candidates Cory Booker, Rush Holt, Frank Pallone, and Sheila Oliver.