Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Leftovers

Will the new federal education law affect New Jersey's relatively new teacher tenure and evaluation reform? NJ Spotlight quotes N.J. Comm. David Hespe, who says, "not really." Sen. Teresa Ruiz, who crafted the legislation, had no comment. Also see the Star-Ledger, the Asbury Park Press, and the Record. More specifically, reports John Mooney,
The new law would allow the state to set the parameters of what would happen next [for the state's bottom 5% of schools]. Under NCLB, there were a variety of prescriptions for low performers, including closing schools altogether or converting them to charters.
“This is where I see the most profound changes,” Hespe said in an interview yesterday. “All of that has been rolled back and delegated to the states.”
That could mean changes to the way New Jersey’s uses Regional Achievement Centers (RACs) in each county, Hespe said, or even specific interventions in its state-operated districts that were all written into its federally approved plans.
My thoughts on ESSA are here and here.

New Jersey School Boards Association issued a statement praising ESSA: "The Every Student Succeeds Act...turns the tide of federal education policy toward the wisdom of local control.”

State Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D-Camden), blowing a kiss towards NJEA for its endorsement of her this year, proposed a bill ending PARCC testing. Also see the Asbury Park Press.

Only 75% of Paterson preschoolers are enrolled in free preschool, compared to 90% in Camden and Trenton. Part of the lack of participation, says the Record, is that the programs run only six hours per day and parents want more coverage.

The Courier Post reports that "N.J. is attempting to legislate recess." Also see NJ Spotlight.

The Star-Ledger Editorial Board: Senate President Steve Sweeney's proposal of a Constitutional amendment that would "give public workers unions all they want on pensions, and ask nothing in return" is "flawed." Let's pay up the required contributions, but not without requiring higher contributions to health care premiums, which are currently about 50% more generous than comparable private plans.


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