Sunday Leftovers

Reverend Reginald Jackson of the NJ Black Ministers Council comments on the Education Law Center’s plea to the DOE to set aside the just-released results of NJ’s new alternative high school assessment because only 10% of students passed the language arts section and only one third passed the math section.
We believe this is an effort to cover up the failure of students statewide to learn what they need to graduate. We also believe the failure is not with students but with instruction.
New York Times front-page article today on mixed results at charter schools, including close looks at Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn (which works) and Cleveland Arts and Sciences Academy (which doesn't).

Barbara Buono, NJ Senate Majority Leader, concedes at New Jersey Newsroom that the school budget election results were “a watershed moment” with “cries for relief” from taxpayers, but now we must ensure that the School Funding Reform Act is fully funded.

Also at New Jersey Newsroom,
Michael Busler, Associate Professor of Finance at Richard Stockman College, notes that “[f]or the first time in almost 40 years, the majority of the voters in New Jersey have voted against proposed government budgets.” All government workers, including educators, should take a “10 percent cut in wages. This would bring their salaries more inline with market conditions.”

According to Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post,
erstwhile NY Times columnist Russell Baker invented an oracle called the “Great Mentioner,” whose role is to make “politicians presidential contenders simply by mentioning their names.” Continues Thiessen, "if the recent buzz is any indication, the Great Mentioner lives on, and he has a new name on his lips: Chris Christie.”

NJ is one of only 19 states that has no laws or regulations monitoring the use of extreme physical restraints and and aversive techniques for children with disabilities. A 5-page Courier Post piece today examines this lack of protection for our most vulnerable kids.

Everyone from the Huffington Post to the NY Times picked up on the story that on Tuesday NJ high school students walked out of class to protest teacher lay-offs necessitated by budget cuts.

Wally Edge at PolitickerNJ warns that “time is running out” for Gov. Christie to renominate Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, a key vote in the inevitable battle over the School Funding Reform Act. Absolute deadline is May 22nd. How much political capital is Christie willing to fork over to fight over a judge who has to retire in two years anyway?

Bob Ingle at Politics Patrol has fun with Camden Superintendent Bessie LeFra Young’s $239,063 annual salary. Ed Commish Bret Schundler gets $145K and Gov. Christie is paid $175K.