Sunday Leftovers

Are NJ schools successfully combating acts of harassment, intimidation, and bullying? The DOE just released its new database, reports NJ Spotlight: “Tellingly, after a first year in which there was a 50 percent rise in the number of bullying cases reported and investigated by schools, the latest data shows nearly as much of a drop, with a 40 percent decrease in the number of investigations. “

Also, there's a new bill sponsored  by state Sens. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) and Nicholas Sacco (D-Hudson) that would "essentially criminalize online harassment and other intimidation, whether by adults or minors, adding the new crime of “cyber-harassment” to the books."

The Courier Post reports that "[o]ne of two Camden charter schools placed on probation in the spring will receive its final review by the state Thursday." D.U.E. Season Charter School was cited for low test scores. From a DOE missive: "After eight years of operation only 25 percent of students achieved proficiency in language arts literacy and 43 percent of students achieved proficiency in mathematics in the 2011-2012 school years.” If D.U.E. loses its charter than children will return to Camden Public Schools, where students achieve 11% proficiency in both language arts and math. (DOE data from Pyne Poynt Elementary.)

From the Star-Ledger: "One in five public school students in Newark and Camden attend charter schools, according to a new national report. Newark's charter school enrollment ranks fourth in the nation in growth, increasing 27 percent from 2012, according to the annual report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In 2011-2012, 7,310 students attended charters in the state's largest district. Last year, enrollment was 9,293. Camden's charter schools enroll 22 percent of all public school students, an increase from 18 percent the previous year, according to the report."

About 200 technology experts, says The Record, met in Wayne this week to learn how to “handle one of the biggest shifts ever in their field – moving the annual state tests online…“We’re building the plane as we fly it,” said Adrian Cepero, technology coordinator for Hackensack schools, after the meeting at the Passaic County Technical Institute. He estimated his district must spend at least $800,000 next year to get enough devices such as Chromebooks (a low-frills laptop) and infrastructure for online testing. He said the district already spent $1.3 million on technical upgrades in the past two years.”

If you read this blog than you know that KIPP charter schools and Cooper Hospital have a partnership to create Urban Hope Act charter schools. That partnership has now expanded to include Rowan University, reports the Courier Post: “according to the agreement between Rowan and TEAM Schools, KIPP’s network of charter schools in New Jersey, the university will recruit and accept six to 10 KIPP students per year. The college will also provide academic resources for students. The partnership also extends to the six schools KIPP operates in Newark.

Today’s NY Times features  an analysis by the Editorial Board that addresses the grim lack of public school programming for gifted and talented students: “Not only do average American students perform poorly compared with those in other countries, but so do the best students, languishing in the middle of the pack as measured by the two leading tests used in international comparisons.”.

We seem to be on a charter school roll this morning, so check out this editorial from the Wall St. Journal:on the future of non-traditional public schools post-Bloomberg:
Over four years of Mr. de Blasio's term, a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party—with national implications—is going to play out inside New York City's poorest neighborhoods. It is the battle over the future of the city's charter-school movement…. de Blasio was critical of charters during his campaign, saying they should pay rent for occupying public space. The teachers union and New York's take-no-prisoners Democratic left want the charters' independence from union control ended. If the city's liberals let Mr. de Blasio and the unions smother these schools, you can take their moral outrage and throw it in the river.