ICYMI: Here's my Spotlight piece on why Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka is the best thing to happen to NJ education reform. Also, here's Friday's WHYY Newsworks column on NJ Ed. Comm. Cerf's angry letter about NJEA.
Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard had a frank conversation with the South Jersey Times about Camden schools' "dramatic lack of rigor" and expressed his support for non-profit charter schools.
Check out former NJ Deputy Commissioner Andy Smarick’s encomium to Chris Cerf.
Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson told a TV anchor "that the changes under way in Newark are giving parents 'the power of choice' and that is where her focus lies."
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools heard from opponents of Anderson's One Newark plan (NJ Spotlight) and the Newark teachers' union endorsed Baraka (Star Ledger).
NJ Spotlight reports on an analysis by the Office of Legislative Services that finds that while total state aid to schools is higher than ever, “four out of five school districts would continue to see less state aid under the new budget than what they received in 2009-2010, when Christie took office.”
Carlos Perez, CEO of the NJ Charter School Association, has some advice on the long-delayed State Legislative update of NJ's charter school laws:
The real challenge is finding the right balance between accountability and innovation. Meaningful freedom to innovate will unleash the power of public charter schools as educational laboratories that not only improve educational outcomes for charter school students, but also create new models for use throughout public education. And we must do this cognizant that charter schools are a part of the wonderful public school mosaic that should be celebrated, not demonized.
New trend? Pascack Valley High School uses on-line learning to compensate for snow days. Also see The Record.
Bridgeton High School has a graduation rate of only 68%, so the superintendent is proposing a new plan to boost grad rates, including paying students to attend summer school.
Jersey City will see a "burst" of enrollment, about 25%, and Superintendent Marsha Lyons is begging for help from the School Development Authority, reports the Star Ledger.
The Wall St. Journal considers the downside of Democratic in-fighting about education reform in New York City:
America has begun to turn the corner on public education. Indeed, the Johns Hopkins report predicts that national high-school graduation rates can reach 90% by 2020. But that can only occur if the countless grass-roots efforts that constitute reform are allowed to continue.
The Daily Caller notes the “tectonic issue shift” that may occur “when there are enough charter school parents to defeat teachers’ unions.”
This is why the extreme politicization of education policy in New York is so counterproductive. Too much progress has been made to fall back into such old arguments.