Newsflash: Mayoral control over a school district is not a "magic bullet" and, according to the Star-Ledger's lede, "may not help increase students’ performance in the classroom." The article refers to a new report out from Rutgers called "Governance and Urban School Improvement" which did not find a direct correlation between improved achievement and a mayor's increased role.
Question: how do we get from a "lack of direct correlation" to "mayoral control is bad?" What's wrong with "it may not be such a bad idea in Newark" or "a $100 million gift shouldn't be turned down because one of the strings is an increased role for Cory Booker?"
The Department of Education received 51 applications for charter schools, the highest number ever.
Barringer High School in Newark finally has a new principal (all of 27 years old) and things are looking up. Previous coverage here.
A new report out from McKinsey & Co. says that countries with the best school systems recruit teachers from the top third of high school and college graduates, while in the U.S. “only 23 percent of teachers come from the top third of college graduates—and in high-poverty schools, that rate drops to 14 percent,” according to EdWeek.
New Jersey School Boards Association has formally asked the Legislature to “begin serious discussion of changes in the state’s century-old tenure laws.” From the press release: ““New Jersey’s tenure system has devolved into a lifetime job protection for teachers, regardless of how well they perform in the classroom.” Here's NJSBA's white paper. Also, see “How to fix our schools: A manifesto” signed by Joel Klein, Michelle Rhee, Arlene Ackerman, et. al. in the Washington Post.
From today's Courier-Post on Gov. Christie's toolkit:
It's insane. If the majority Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly think all they have to do is install a cap and just sit on their hands and hope the public and the governor forget about the other reforms, they're fools. They're fools who, like the leaders of public worker unions who support them, seem to think that if they dig in their heels enough, that New Jerseyans' desire for lower property taxes will disappear, that the budget deficits this state faces will vanish and that everything will be alright for them again, like it was in years past when governors were afraid to push for real spending reform… it will demonstrate total fiscal irresponsibility and a clear willingness to hang towns and school districts out to dry in favor of protecting Trenton's sacred cows of the past -- the public worker unions and a system skewed heavily to benefit those unions.