Sunday Leftovers

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Reginald Lewis  has a nuanced view of the Newark boycott in NJ Spotlight:

 There are clearly legitimate concerns about a plan on this scale in which nearly a quarter of the district’s schools are affected. Confusion about transportation logistics persists, and parents are understandably uneasy about the safety of their children traversing unfamiliar neighborhoods. However, contrary to claims that this protest tactic was devised in the best interest of South Ward students, the school boycott ultimately harmed a population of children who on average already miss too many days of school and lag tremendously behind their peers throughout the state in reading proficiency.

The Newark Schools Advisory Board held a press conference to ask for more information about a contract that would evaluate the district’s One Newark Plan  (NJ Spotlight) as part of a strategy to shut the plan down (Star-Ledger).

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Chicago mayor-hopeful and Chicago Teacher Union President Karen Lewis held a joint press conference. The Star-Ledger quotes Mayor Baraka:

“Newark Public Schools’ leaders have not listened to city residents who are opposed to the changes.You don’t get to prescribe how people get upset,” Baraka said. “What is unreasonable is to expect people to be silent while you abuse them.”
But Baraka cautioned the audience against believing city activists are opposed all education reform initiatives.”Our job is to fix them not close them,” Baraka said of local schools. “Our kids deserve the best ideas.

(Question: what if you have to close them to fix them?)
Also see NJ Spotlight for a report on Lewis’ visit to both Newark and Camden.
Save Our Schools-NJ and Education Law Center, fellow travelers in the anti-charter school sect, are in a lather over Senate President Steve Sweeney’s plans to put Senate Bill 2264 up for a vote tomorrow. The bill would allow charter schools authorized under the Urban Hope Act to temporarily use traditional district facilities while they contract their own facilities and extend by one year the deadline to submit applications in Camden.

The Star-Ledger Editorial Board chants, “repeal the superintendent salary cap.”

Courier Post: “The denial of a mother’s request to have her son transported from morning kindergarten in Cherry Hill to an after-school program has inspired new legislation in New Jersey,” specifically, a bill that would “require school districts to transport students in half-day morning kindergarten to after-school enrichment programs, regardless of whether state law deems them ineligible for bus service.”

Former Governor Christie Todd Whitman urges school district consolidation.

Diane D’Amico of the Press of Atlantic City takes a clear-eyed look at the Common Core.

Smothered in the rhetoric are the standards themselves. Actual curriculum and lessons are still determined by local school districts. The standards say children should learn to read. They do not tell them specifically what to read.”  NJEA Pres. Wendell Steinhauer remarks, “There are so many myths now, and they have gotten so political. “We do have some issues with the tests and the teacher evaluations, which are being addressed. But we do support the standards. A lot of people don’t see that separation.”

Education Week looks at the growing number of charter schools that serve children with disabilities.

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1 Comment

  • kallikak, September 21, 2014 @ 7:40 pm Reply

    Predictably, Wendell S. is cool with the standards. His main concern—as it should be—is whether and how much his rank-and-file can game them.

    Just what are his problems with the 'tests and evaluations'? That they exist?

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