Sunday Leftovers

The Senate Education Committee will hear public testimony tomorrow on Senator Teresa Ruiz's tenure reform bill, which now features some compromises including the deletion of the section which  eliminated the practice of LIFO, or "last in, first out" during staff lay-offs. Explained Sen. Ruiz to NJ Spotlight, "“It [LIFO]  still is a big issue, but it’s a question of whether we can we get a bill that has significant policy change, one that gets posted, one that gets support, and one that gets considered for passage into law,” she said. “Or do I sit and do nothing at all?” Spotlight has links to the latest version of Ruiz's bill and Assemblyman Diegnan's far weaker bill.

The Star-Ledger Editorial Board  pleads with the Legislature to pass Sen. Ruiz’s bill which “is much stronger than a competing bill from Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex), which is backed by the state’s most powerful teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association.”  Two suggestions in the editorial: suspend seniority rights for two years until the bill is implemented, and/or “allow a local union to give up absolute seniority rights in contract negotiations, which is now barred by law.”

The State Board of Education, reports the Star-Ledger, held a public meeting to hear from representatives of districts under State control: Newark, Paterson, and Jersey City.  Cami Anderson, Superintendent of Newark, told the Board that  "one of the biggest hurdles to the district's success,  is the need for state lawmakers to pass tenure reform legislation."

NJ Spotlight has the first part of a series on reforming Newark's public schools. The first part, here, examines Quitman Street Community School. 

The NJ Assembly Democrats are considering a bill that would  direct “the State Board of Education to create regulations requiring school districts to develop a plan to establish stability in special education programming. The plan must take into account the consistency of the location, curriculum, and staffing in the provision of special education programs and services.”

Is teaching cursive writing to elementary school students going the way of slate and chalk? The Trenton Times.

From The Record: Englewood Public Schools may replace all school secretaries and teaching assistants with employees from private staffing companies.

The Courier-Post details various abuses at Camden's Distinctions in Urban Education Season Charter School, including assault by its security liaison, nepotism, poor student achievement, and high teacher turnover.

In today's New York Times, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn magnet school tries to integrate its mostly Hispanic population. Dr. Diane Ravitch commented, “I can’t remember the last time anyone in a leadership position said anything about desegregation. That sends a signal. They talk about choice.”Also, see a review of a new book by Deborah Kenney, former Sesame Street executive an sponsor of Harlem Village Academies: " “Everything we have learned and accomplished at Harlem Village Academies,” she wrote, “has been enabled by two conditions: accountability and freedom.” 

Comic Relief: Freedom Writers version of Jersey City Nails.