Sunday Leftovers

This morning's New York Times analyzes the impact of technology in the classroom, specifically in an Arizona district. Test scores are stagnant; are the kids learning more or not?

The Westward Patch looks at crumbling school buildings in Newark. Thirty-four schools fail state safety standards another 30 need significant repairs. That's the job of the New Jersey School Development Authority, which in 2008 planned $319 million in construction and refurbishment, but now all that's on hold.

NJ Spotlight
reviews Newark turbulence as new Superintendent Cami Anderson sets out her priorities and the ACLU continues its suit against Mayor Cory Booker.

The Elizabeth School Board, well-known for cronyism and ethics lapses, is now facing a State investigation over fraudulent free and reduced lunch applications. The Board President herself, Marie Munn, has a son who receives free lunch despite the fact that she is a human resources administrator for a state nonprofit organization," according to the Star-Ledger, and her husband is also employed. Carlos Lucio, an Elizabeth principal, earns $103,163 a year yet his daughter receives a subsidized lunch.

Speaking of dysfunctional school boards, in Asbury Park the school board president was forced to resign over an old cocaine possession charge and remaining board members (another one resigned in June) are battling over replacements. During last week's meeting, says the Asbury Park Press, two members walked out so that there was no quorum and a candidate backed by the ex-president couldn't be appointed.

Teaneck Public Schools just set the most rigorous eligibility requirements for athletic participation: a 2.5 GPA. NJSIAA sets the bar at 1.0, or a "D" average.

Gordon MacInnes attacks Gov. Christie's ed reform agenda, but also has no kind words for NJEA leaders' and legislators' "lack of pushback:" "Their silence is more than inexplicable. It is dangerous."

The former president of the L.A. teacher union, United Teachers Los Angeles, is planning to open a charter school where tenure is conditional on continued effective performance, says the LA Times.

The Christian Science Monitor examines whether we leave gifted children behind as schools focus on underperforming students. The piece references a study by the Fordham Institute, in which 80% of teachers agreed that "getting underachieving students to reach proficiency has become so important that the needs of advanced students take a back seat."