Sunday Leftovers

The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board praises Assembly Speaker Sheila Olivier for her willingness to accept a legislative solution to the public employee health and benefits problem, noting that her position "shows real political courage. It does, after all, move her closer to Gov. Chris Christie’s overall position and amounts to a rejection of a position closely held by the state’s unions, and even leaders within her own party, who want to keep health benefits a matter solely for collective bargaining."

Warning to you malfeasant school board members: Assembly Bill 444, signed by Gov. Christie this week, requires you to submit to criminal background checks at your expense. Here's the Assembly Democrats press release. CentralJersey profiles a hard-working school board member with a checkered past (43 years ago) who will likely loose his seat.

Many more districts (except for impoverished ones) are charging fees for sports and other extra-curricular activities, says the Press of Atlantic City.

NJ Spotlight looks at the new Common Core State Standards and its attendant assessments, which will tweak New Jersey’s current Core Curriculum Content Standards. Full roll-out will be in September 2014.

James Ahearn of The Record unpacks how the seven-member State Supreme Court whittled itself down to a 3-2 ruling on the most recent Abbott v. Burke school funding case.

The College Board has named West New York School District in Hudson County the “top small school district in the nation for advancing student readiness for college.”

Good piece in the Huffington Post on whether magnet schools perpetuate segregation. Here's Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division:
It is intolerable for school districts to continue operating schools that retain their racial identity from the Jim Crow era. If school districts are not willing to work collaboratively to eradicate the vestiges of de jure segregated schools, we will ask the courts to take the steps necessary to ensure that students of all racial backgrounds have the opportunity to attend diverse, inclusive schools.
Don't miss Louis Menand's New Yorker article where he debates the value of college in America.

The Thomas Fordham Foundation has a new report out called "Shifting Trends in Special Education" that examines data showing, for example, lower percentages of kids diagnosed with specific learning disabilities and mental retardation, but big upswings in the categories of autism and "other-health-impaired."