Sunday Leftovers

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NJ Spotlight reports on Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan’s bill that would mandate opt-out testing procedures. More on that this week. Here’s the link to the bill.

Superintendent Gregorio Maceri of South Hackensack explained to parents  that PARCC testing “is testing that really doesn’t effect the student,” he said. “Quite frankly, it’s just to find out for the school district where your students are — that is really the whole point of it. PARCC is designed to be this new testing method that will hopefully give us relevant data, rather than just give us ‘a kid passed’ or ‘a kid failed.’ It will give us relevant data on how we can drive instruction.”  (The Record)

In Millburn, Christine Burton, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, explained to parents that “when they piloted the exams in select classrooms last year, most students had more time available then they needed, and that the scores are just one measure of students’ skills that will be shared with teachers as students enter subsequent grades.”

New Jersey D.O.E. released the 2013-2014 School Performance Reports

 The Record: “City school board members are calling for the district to create new “intervention” programs to improve Paterson students’ performance on the college entrance exams. In 2014, 19 of the 594 Paterson students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) had scores that deemed them college-ready, according to the district’s annual report.”

Star-Ledger: “A new advocacy group aimed at expanding publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs in New Jersey launched Tuesday with the support of influential leaders in both business and politics.
Pre-K Our Way, a non-partisan non-profit, says New Jersey has one of the best pre-K programs in the country but not enough communities are part of it.”

“The New Jersey School Boards Association announces the release of an online collection of successful, creative programs, practices and initiatives in today’s public school classrooms and district offices.”

Why We Need Tenure Reform: The Times of Trenton reports that a middle school social studies teacher in Hamilton Public Schools (Mercer County) resigned in exchange for the district rescinding tenure charges.  The tenure charges say that the teacher exhibited a “complete lack of ability, effort and motivation to teach and made multiple racist, sexist and homophobic comments between Sept. 30, 2013, and Jan. 30, 2014.” His doctor confirmed that he was using sedatives, hypnotics, and cocaine, but his lawyer said the district was discriminating against him because he had a previous disability of drug addiction.

[This sounds somewhat like the classic illustration of chutzpah: a man kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he’s an orphan.]

According to reports filed, the teacher ”stated that fewer than 2 million Jews died in the Holocaust, which they ‘provoked,’ and that “Koreans, Japanese and Asians are all Chinese,” He also stated that “a slave was never enslaved by a white man and that they sold each other” and “If my son was gay, I would have an operation to remove that.”

No information on the cost of legal fees and administrative time lost to the district throughout the lengthy process of litigation.

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  • kallikak, February 2, 2015 @ 12:14 am Reply

    Re: Why We Need Tenure Reform: It's called 'due process', Laura, and it costs money.

    Sounds like it worked in this case.

    Are you advocating for the Governor's preferred approach, i.e., “We all know who the bad teachers are” (and presumably we will deal with them unilaterally)?

  • NJ Left Behind, February 2, 2015 @ 8:31 pm Reply

    It seems to me that there should be some less onerous process for no-brainer cases like this. I don't know what you're referring to re: the “Gov's preferred approach.”

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