Tenure Reform Update: Even with all the compromises -- retaining seniority-based payoffs, lack of specificity regarding the link of student growth to teacher evaluations -- a professor at Montclair, Bridget Harrison, tell the Wall St. Journal that "the whole, you can put this in the win column for the governor." The article also notes that NJ is one of only 11 states in the country to retain LIFO.
From the Star-Ledger: Assembly Patrick Diegnan is waiving his less reformy proposal and, with little modification, has signed onto Sen. Ruiz's version, which is "expected to pass in the Assembly on Monday and head to Christie’s desk soon afterward." While Gov. Christie, NJSBA, and other groups wanted to eliminate LIFO, reports the Ledger, "the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, fought to keep seniority in the final bill, and Ruiz acquiesced to secure the NJEA’s substantial support." Mayor Cory Booker is unhappy.
The Courier-Post Editorial Board says that legislators "have not yet" reached "a fair deal on tenure." It's a great first step, but ,
potentially troubling are some of the more technical aspects of the bill, particularly those relating to the legal process by which tenure charges are filed. For example, the measure calls for an arbitrator to hear cases rather than the Office of Administrative Law — a change designed to speed up the entire process. The New Jersey School Boards Association, however, objects to the fact that the 24-person pool from which the state would choose the arbitrators is imbalanced toward the union, which would be allowed to select 14 of the 24.
The NJSBA has also expressed concerns about the timeline for filing tenure charges, which under the new bill would require a one- to two-year wait after a teacher has been determined to be inefficient. The existing law gives teachers 90 days to improve under such circumstances.
NJ School Boards Association has this analysis of the bill. The Asbury Park Press says the "tenure deal is incomplete," but I have no details because, sadly, the paper is obscured behind a pay wall. See here for the Assembly Democrats press release. And there's lots of good info from NJEA.
In case you missed it, my take is here.
The Interdistrict Public School Choice Program is getting some attention, as more schools apply for the roster of choice schools and realize benefits. The Star-Ledger examines Kenilworth, where the superintendent says that "interdistrict choice brings us a lot of academically talented students looking to find a home elsewhere. And we’re happy to accept them." The Record looks at Manchester Regional, which will enroll 100 students from Paterson and accept $1.16 million next year from the State in tuition. NJEA says it is "concerned." Paterson says it is not because student participation is capped.
Also in The Record: "When it comes to public school spending, New Jersey's average of $16,841 per pupil in 2010 ranked it second to the top among states, the U. S. Census Bureau reported Thursday."
The Press of Atlantic City reports that "the Christie administration’s proposed changes to the school-funding formula have been removed from the Senate version of the budget bill, setting the stage for a funding formula debate in the fall."
Also in The Press, "a review of 2012-13 school budgets by The Press of Atlantic City shows that although almost all local school boards no longer take their budgets to a public vote, the cap appeared to help keep costs under control for next year."