Sunday Leftovers

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The Wall St. Journal looks at the tense relationship between Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson:

Mr. Baraka said Ms. Anderson has been dictatorial and hasn’t listened to the community. “If she was in anyone else’s city, they would have thrown her out a long time ago,” he said. 

Ms. Anderson said Mr. Baraka tried to exaggerate the school system’s problems and not acknowledge accomplishments. She said Mr. Baraka wanted to maintain the “status quo,” and that her policies had helped him in his job as a principal at a Newark high school. 

“When your ideological perspective is anti-charter, anti-choice and very focused on adult interests over kids, it’s pretty difficult to find common ground,” she said of Mr. Baraka.

Camden Public Schools has been soliciting  input from the community about academic priorities as it prepares for the release of new school report cards. According to comments made by 475 residents, here are the top three:

  1.  Students receive rich instruction from their teachers (56% of respondents); 
  2.  Students are challenged and interested in their school work (53%); 
  3.  Students leave school ready to succeed in the next grade level, college, or career (53%).
Dick Codey has a bill on the floor that would prioritize  academics over sports and start middle and high schools later in the morning.  Paul Mulshine can’t find an  educator who thinks this is a bad idea.  Here’s coverage from NJ Spotlight,.the Star Ledger, and the Record.
NJ Spotlight reports that the Governor’s Special Education Task Force is embarking on a listening tour:  “Those testifying at the public hearings are asked to focus on four key areas, according to a memo sent to districts yesterday. They include the identification of students with special needs, best practices for serving those students, the costs and alternatives to private school services, and the development of standards and oversight of programs.”

Gov. Christie signed the newly-amended Urban Hope Act.
Ridgewood hosted a debate on the Common Core and PARCC testing (The Record) and a science writer with the New York Times explains the difference between the old tests and the new tests.
On the ballot in Cape May County: a new school funding formula that would lower the amount of  payments made by Cape May to the receiving district of Cape May Regional. Right now the wealthy town of Cape May  “pays $6,520,338 for its 67 students. Under a per pupil system it would pay $932,754. The tax bill on an average home would decline by $1,256.”  It won’t pass though, because there are so few registered voters in Cape May, (Press of Atlantic City)
Preserving historic portions of Trenton High School, currently undergoing restoration, will add another two years to the expected date of completion. (The Trenton Times and the Trentonian)
Amanda Ripley, Time journalist and author of “The Smartest Kids in the World,” describing the extreme reactions her education stories have received. (hat tip: Intercepts)

“I have been called some awful names. I have gotten hate mail. And the funny thing is, I’ve written about abortion and terrorism, and I don’t get the same level of vitriol from those stories…. I had a teacher in Connecticut call me a c**t. So that was a low moment.”

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