Sunday Leftovers

This Thursday, Oct. 18th at 7 pm, I'll be speaking on NJ's education reform landscape at the Westfield Memorial Library, 550 East Broad St, Westfield. Everyone is welcome.

Mildred C. Crump, a Democratic Newark councilwoman-at-large, congratulates the Camden School Board for denying all applications for new charters through the Urban Hope Act. “I understand that parents want to give their children the best education possible, but we cannot discount those who are left out of the lotteries if our mission is to educate all children.” My commentary here. The Courier-Post has an update, which begins, "Advocates for Hope Act schools stepped up the pressure on the city’s school board Monday, with Mayor Dana Redd saying board members 'missed a chance' to help local youngsters when they rejected all Hope School applicants last week."

Re: upcoming school board elections, Ray Pinney, over at the NJSBA Board Blog has a modest proposal: change the November election ballots so that local contests – school board candidates included – would be on top, instead of on the bottom.

NJ Spotlight reports that NJ will keep the old high school assessment, the HSPA, for the next two years while it gears up for big changes.

Also in NJ Spotlight,  the impact of the new principal and teacher evaluation model now being piloted across the state:
Brian Zychowski, the superintendent of North Brunswick schools, supports the state’s general direction and headed a state task force last year that recommended many of the changes for evaluating both teachers and administrators.
But with six schools and more than 6,000 students, Zychowski ponders the wisdom of putting both systems in place next year. Nor does he hide some worry that it’s too much.
“The big question is the four-letter word: 'time',” he said this week.

From the Jersey Journal:
Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop and city attorney Bill Matsikoudis got into a shouting match at Wednesday’s council meeting over proposed changes to the city’s pay-to-play ordinance.
The changes would prohibit political donors from receiving contracts with the Jersey City Board of Education.
The argument grew so heated, with the two men shouting at each other and other council members yelling at them to stop, that Council President Peter Brennan took the unusual step of banging his gavel and ordering Matsikoudis to return to his seat.
The Hunterdon County Democrat reports that South Hunterdon Regional School District, with a total enrollment of 400 kids in middle and high school, and Stockton School, which enrolls 50 students in preschool through grade 5, may consolidate to form a regional district.

From The Record: "There are two sides to being an Interdistrict Public School Choice for Pompton Lakes. On one side the borough will seek out top students who want to participate in its honors programs, and on the other side it allows students to find a school that is the right fit for them."

From the Gloucester County Times: "The Washington Township Board of Education and Washington Township Public Schools have filed a lawsuit against the teachers’ union, claiming that the 900-member education association is violating its contract by refusing to write letters of recommendation for graduating seniors."

Why do we need to get rid of seniority-based lay-offs? Check out this story from the L.A. Times.

In case you missed it, here's this week's post at WHYY's Newsworks on November school board elections.

And don't miss Steven Colbert on "meducation." Really!