Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Leftovers

“I am afraid that doing more with less is the new model in New Jersey.” That’s Jennifer Keyes-Maloney, an assistant director with the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, in Montclair to protest school aid cuts to the NJ Assembly.

“Let’s show some respect for teachers,” says Joseph DePierro in The Record: "In speaking with teachers around the state, it’s pretty obvious that they are upset. Many are feeling unappreciated and undervalued. Some believe that they are being made the scapegoats for the state’s fiscal woes…a few even suggest that the current attacks on teachers are motivated by gender bias."

Gov. Christie says he’ll announce Newark’s next superintendent in May and defends Mayor Cory Booker’s role in the process. (Star-Ledger, NJ Spotlight ) Acting Comm. Chris Cerf explains his strategy for improving Newark’s public school system.

Bob Braun
of the Star Ledger says that the Gates Foundation’s funding of a value-added teacher evaluation model in Newark is suspect.

NJ Spotlight analyzes the list of schools approved by the School Development Authority for construction and/or renovation. Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman says the list is “an embarrassment” for the Christie Administration.

The Communication Workers of America, NJ’s largest public union, unveiled a plan that would, according to the Star-Ledger, “increase employees’ share of insurance premiums to about 14 percent and save taxpayers more than $200 million by 2013.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney says he opposes the Opportunity Scholarship Act (the voucher bill) but may allow a vote on it.

Retired Toms River Superintendent Michael Ritacco, who has been indicted on federal bribery charges, is due money from his unused sick days, vacation days, and state pension, according to the Asbury Park Press.


From the NY Times on raising student achievement: The director of the international group PISA recommended, “to improve its public schools, the United States should raise the status of the teaching profession by recruiting more qualified candidates, training them better and paying them more, according to a new report on comparative educational systems.”

Here's more PISA analysis from Mike Petrelli.

Great Washington Post depiction of applying value-added metrics to teacher evaluations.

EdWeek examines the conflict in Baltimore over paying teachers the union rate for teaching longer days. KIPP charter schools has a 9½ hour day, which is one-third longer than the contractual school day in Baltimore. The Baltimore Teachers Union may agree to a compromise that allows the charters to remain solvent while maintaining longer school days, a factor at the heart of its successful program.

1 comment:

kallikak said...

A suggestion for Bill and Melinda Gates: why don't you pilot your teacher evaluation metric in districts like Ridgewood and Mendham? I'm sure you would acknowledge that under Gov. Christie's blanket demonization of teachers in NJ, the distribution of bad teachers MUST encompass high-performing suburban districts as well as the usual (and obvious) low-performing urban ones.

So why not dazzle us with a protocol that isolates these slackers in high relief!

P.S. While you are at it, could you please divert some of your billions to fix your crappy software?