Sunday Leftovers

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Just thirteen months ago, reports the Star-Ledger, Chris Christie and Randi Weingarten were BFF’s. But now “those good vibes are gone… On Monday, Weingarten will travel to Newark to lead a march and rally in protest of what a coalition of advocacy groups called “Christie’s failed leadership on education in Newark.”

The five most violent school districts in New Jersey are Camden, Wildwood City, Lakewood, Willingboro, and High Point Regional, tallies The Patch. On Camden, via Courier Post: “The Camden City School District had 325 incidents, the highest in South Jersey. The number was up from 221 incidents during the 2011-12 school year. In fact, it had more incidents than all of Salem County (235).”

From the Star Ledger: New Jersey’s high school graduation rate rose slightly again last year to 87.5 percent statewide, according to data from the department of education.

Yet again the State DOE issues new guidelines on professional development for teachers and administrators.

The Star-Ledger looks at the results of the teacher evaluation pilot program, as reported by the state’s Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee. Most teachers were rated “effective “ or “highly effective.” Twenty-five percent were rated “partially effective.”  “The report depicts a complicated and time-consuming system that combines uniform standards with some flexibility for implementation. The committee noted the flexibility was imperative ‘in a state with over 590 school districts, an incredible diversity of schools, students, and teachers, troubling socioeconomic inequality and a significant student achievement gap.””

John Mooney at NJ Spotlight calls Newark’s new universal enrollment collaboration between charters and traditional public schools a “landmark agreement.”

Can a school board issue subpoenas? Montclair is trying, but has hit a “major snag,” according to The Record because Superior Court Judge Thomas Vena issued a restraining order, one that was requested by the American Civil Liberties Union. Still with me? For background, courtesy of the ACLU, see here.

NJ Spotlight reports that reports of bullying dropped sharply, probably a result of both extra vigilance and “a better understanding of the process.” Here’s coverage from The Record.

Toms River Update: “The Teachers’ Pension & Annuity Fund voted unanimously Thursday to revoke [ex-Superintendent Tom] Ritacco’s $155,040 annual pension, in the wake of his 2012 guilty plea to federal charges for accepting more than $1 million in bribes from insurance broker Francis Gartland and others between 2002 and 2010.” (Asbury Park Press)

The Asbury Park Press has a Q&A on the Common Core and The Record reviews local districts’ updates to curricula

Trenton Times: ” He had to see it for himself. That is what brought state school board Vice President Joe Fisicaro to Trenton Central High School yesterday afternoon to tour the 81-year-old building, which students, teachers and staff complain is rundown and unsafe. “In my district, they would have had a revolution,” Fisicaro said. “We would have parents all over the place.”

If a tree falls at a school board meeting but there’s no one there to hear it, does it really fall? Ponderous questions at Lakewood Public Schools.

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