Gov. Christie's town hall meeting in Parsippany, reports the Star-Ledger, was his "most explosive yet." It featured a near-fisticuffs with a teacher and a sign hoisted into the air by a board member in Chatham that said "Drop Dead."
Accountability Watch: the business administrator at Woodbridge Public School District, Dennis Demarino, has been receiving an additional $175 per day since August 20th to serve as acting head of the transportation department. That comes out to about $875 per week, or about $43K per year. Says Demarino, the job “entails several hours of work a day and some Saturdays.” No worries though: that’s a bargain for Woodbridge because the transportation job actually pays $78K plus full benefits.
The Atlantic City School District offered an illegal early retirement deal to teachers, reports the Atlantic City Press, and must now pay back $3 million to the state pension fund.
Robert Aloia, former superintendent of the Bergen County Technical and Special Services school districts and much in the news for excessive salary ($241K) and contractual perks, will receive a deferred compensation package of about $300,000, reports The Record.
NJ Spotlight looks at our fragile Department of Education, where there has been "significant staff departures in the past few months, and little sign as yet of replacements when [Acting Commissioner Rochelle] Hendricks’ standing remains in doubt."
The Education Law Center is worried about a “repeat of last year’s chaos” over the Alternative High School Assessment, the new test that is offered to high school seniors who can’t pass the standard HSPA.
Mike Petrelli over at Flypaper notes the 35th anniversary of I.D.E.A. and points out a couple of factoids from some recent U.S. DOE data:
- Of the country’s 6.5 million children aged 3-21 who receive special education services, 45 percent are in the “specific learning disability” or “emotional disturbance” categories–neither of which would have been considered “disabilities” in 1975. (And both of which include many students who were simply poorly served by “general education.”)
- New York State has about the same number of special education students as the state of Texas (444,000 vs. 452,000)–even though Texas’s total student population is 71 percent higher than the Empire State’s.