Sunday Leftovers

The Courier Times Editorial Board hopes that the Camden School Board’s rejection of all four proposals for charter schools (see post below) isn’t “a case of a group of Camden leaders misguidedly thinking they’re doing right solely because they’re fighting against outside forces and for control over what they view as “their” money.” The editorial continues,
In reality, it will be leaders ignoring the stark reality that doing best for Camden’s children means breaking sharply from the status quo. It means really, truly admitting (not just mouthing the words without believing it) that decades of extra Abbott funding pumped into the city’s schools hasn’t markedly fixed the schools or improved the education most of Camden’s children are getting.
 Also see this story from Philly Burbs, which surveys reactions from parents and board members. While some feel empowered by the Board’s rejection of all four proposals, a parent commented, "It's not fair,” adding that the school board should tell the neighborhood's parents "why their kids are not going to have a school in five or six years."

From NJ Spotlight: “As New Jersey moves toward a whole new battery of online testing, starting in 2014, a big obstacle stands in the way: At least half of its public school districts don’t yet have the necessary technology.” Also in Spotlight: a new bill sponsored by Sen. Teresa Ruiz would pilot a program in 25 districts to extend the school year and the school day.

The Hunterdon County Democrat notes that of the 107 New Jersey districts who volunteer to accept students from outside district boundaries through the state’s Interdistrict Public School Choice Program, 20% of them are in Hunterdon County. A Stockton school administrator says that the parents of choice students are “involved and dedicated…The choice students may benefit from a school that better fits their needs, but she thinks the districts also benefit from greater diversity and more state aid — $161,473 here — that allows the choice school to expand programs.”

A new federal grant will fund a merit pay program for teachers in four NJ districts: Asbury Park, Lakewood, Hillside, and North Plainfield.  (Star-Ledger)

The Burlington County Times looks at the costs of educating special needs students and some efficiencies realized by the Special Services School District.  (Here's my post this week at WHYY Newsworks on the more general topic of NJ's special education costs.)

The Hamilton School Board, says The Trentonian, is striving to move beyond the corruption scandal involving Mayor John Bencivengo and the district’s former insurance broker.

From Central Jersey: "The Perth Amboy Board of Education met Saturday afternoon in a special session to again take action concerning Superintendent of Schools Dr. Janine Walker Caffrey, whom they had originally put on administrative leave last April."

In case you missed it: here's my column in NJ Spotlight on the three reports issued over the last three years from Christie Administration's Education Task Force.