Sunday Leftovers

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Everyone is talking about the teacher in Roosevelt who was tardy more than a hundred times over the past two years. The arbitrator ordered that the district must lift his suspension in January and resume paying him his $90K per year because they it didn’t provide  “progressive discipline.” (Like an alarm clock?) See the Star-Ledger,  Education WeekCBS News, NY Daily News, Talking Points Memo,  Times Argus (in Vermont). (And file under “Why N.J. Still Needs Tenure Reform.”)

The Press of Atlantic City reports that the A.C. school district, which had to lay off 225 teachers because of budget cuts, was able to rehire 29 teachers.

The Asbury Park Press reports on local districts’ teacher evaluation results: “In Monmouth County, 2 percent, or 185 teachers, were deemed “partially effective” or “ineffective.” In Ocean, 1 percent, or 54 teachers, earned the two bottom scores, according to the results.”

Newark Superintendent Chris Cerf reported to the city’s school board on this far more successful second year of allowing parents to choose among the city’s public schools, both traditional and charter. Interesting, only 25% of incoming kindergarten parents prefer their neighborhood schools, in stark contrast to the anti-reform rhetoric coming from Chicago and NOLA.  Cerf, via the Star-Ledger: “Overall, parents are engaged and exercising their voice. They’re demonstrating in huge numbers that they prefer choice. They’re expressing greater satisfaction with process and how they’ve been treated throughout,” he said.

Also from the Star-Ledger re: reform efforts in Camden:

 As parents prepare themselves for another nine months of textbooks, tests and trips, Camden City School District leaders are taking concerns to heart and folding them into practices for the coming school year.
The five promises that came from Superintendent Paymond Rouhanifard’s 100-day listening tour continue to play a prominent role. However, having recently wrapped up his 55th public meeting, Rouhanifard said what’s on the minds of parents, teachers and students is an ever-evolving issue requiring thought-out fixes.
“Our families want immediate results,” said Rouhanifard, not something “esoteric.”

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerville) proposed a pension reform plan for teachers (the fund will run dry in 12 years) but NJEA said no. And the blog called New Jersey Education Aid predicts that the state will be unable next year to fully fund either the School Funding Reform Act formula or teacher pensions because of continuing state job losses and general economic woes.

This week there’s been some extraordinary writing about the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans public school system’s transformation. See, for starters, U.S. Sec. of Ed. Arne Duncan, NOLA Superintendent John White, The 74, and Chris Stewart,

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  • StateAidGuy, September 1, 2015 @ 11:01 am Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • StateAidGuy, September 1, 2015 @ 11:03 am Reply

    One Ciatterelli proposal that needs to get more attention is his proposal to ban a district from abating its school taxes. Jersey City and Hoboken are tremendous abusers of the status quo PILOT law and pull in tens of millions annually in unjustified state aid as a result of their having so many PILOTed buildings which are “invisible” to the state aid formula.

    Ciatterelli is also right to accept the inevitability of cutting education aid especially to certain Abbott districts, but Ciatterelli's proposal to have minimum 25% local funding is not the way to do this.

    What Ciattarelli neglects to consider is that just because a district pays for less than 25% of its school budget doesn't necessarily mean that the district is overaided nor that the town is undertaxed.

    Aid cuts should be made to districts that et more than 100% of their SFRA funding. This could potentially free up over $600 million. This proposal would leave a district like Paterson's aid untouched, but finally require Jersey City, Asbury Park, and Hoboken to pay their fair shares for their own schools.

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