Sunday Leftovers

The Star Ledger Editorial Board praises Chris Cerf, NJ departing Commissioner of Education: "Cerf has been by far the most effective member of Christie’s cabinet, and his departure is a blow. He understood that New Jersey really has two public school systems — one in the suburbs where students consistently rank among the nation’s best, and another in the poor cities with shocking rates of failure." The  New Jersey School Boards Association will miss Cerf too.

But nobody else will.

NJEA, via Asbury Park Press: "'We are deeply concerned that Commissioner Cerf is leaving his position to become CEO of Amplify Insight,' [NJEA President Wendell] Steinhauer said in a statement. 'In Cerf’s new position, he and his company will profit from selling assessment products and services to public schools struggling to adapt to exactly the kind of misguided mandates that Cerf’s Department of Education is currently imposing on New Jersey’s schools. While it is clearly a very good career move for Commissioner Cerf, he leaves New Jersey at a time when schools, educators and students are struggling with these new mandates.'”

The Record also quotes the union chief: “'We look forward to working with the next commissioner to slow down the Department of Education’s headlong rush toward a disastrous implementation of the new evaluation system and the standardized testing associated with it,' said New Jersey Education Association President Wendell Steinhauer. 'We call on the next commissioner to focus on doing things right rather than doing them quickly.'”

The Star Ledger  talks to Joe Del Grosso, head of the Newark Teachers Union:  “I look for commissioners who are champions of public schools, period,” Del Gross said. “Some of his stances on charter schools, and not holding charters school to the same standards as public schools, I never appreciated it... We agree to disagree on a lot of his positions when it comes to public education.”

The South Jersey Times: "Otherwise, Cerf hasn’t made much difference for kids in the classroom, especially in low-performing schools. Is it significant that the Schools Development Authority finally signed off on replacing Trenton High School, a symbol of crumbling inner-city education infrastructure, just days before Cerf’s announced exit?"

For more thrumming see SalvatorePizzuro and Mark Weber. For the  straight scoop see NJ Spotlight and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The NJ State Education Board reiterates its support for the Common Core: NJ Spotlight, Star Ledger, The Record.

Star Ledger on Steve Sweeney’s  path to an “ultimate goal” after he gets his zero tax cap:
Ultimately, that’s Sweeney’s zero tax cap goal — exhaust all other alternatives until leaders in the state’s 565 municipalities and 601 school districts seriously embrace consolidation and extensive use of shared services. The vice grip would tighten each year the cap stays at zero.
“I think it would take three or four years,” Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said during a meeting with The Times of Trenton editorial board last week. “They’ll continue to find ways to be more efficient.”
He expects those that advocate on behalf of municipalities would object strongly to a zero tax cap.
“They should be driven nuts,” Sweeney said. “At least you get to the real cost of government.”
Leslie Brody of The Record examines the recent federal suit that found that “because of the state’s failures” in following federal law and placing students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment,  "countless disabled children were unnecessarily separated from their peers."

Asbury Park Press: "New Jersey high school students who take Advanced Placement exams score among the nation’s highest. But a new report finds that low-income students often do not take the tests."

Trenton High, exults the Trentonian, is really getting rebuilt! Now the district is looking  for a temporary home for students during the five-year construction timeline.

Some families in California are taking teacher unions to court to argue that the state’s strong tenure rules subjects students to ineffective teachers.