Sunday Leftovers

New billboard in Trenton: “Eric Jackson Endorsed Tony Mack. Eric Jackson Worked for Tony Mack.” See the Trentonian for the scoop that David Tepper, head of B4K, a NJ education reform group, paid for the signs to boost the candidacy of Jim Golden (who is the only candidate with a meaningful education agenda for the city and had no knowledge of his benefactor’s plans). Also, here’s my piece this week at WHYY Newsworks, which compares the six candidates’ education agendas.
The anti-charter group Save Our Schools and NJEA organized a protest in Camden to protest the opening of two new charter schools run by two of the best charter operators in the country. The head of SOS-NJ, by the way,  is Susan Cauldwell of Spring Lake. Spring Lake is one of NJ’s richest districts. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

The South Jersey Times reports that Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard gave a progress report on one of his goals, increasing pre-K enrollment: “Pre-K enrollment in Camden is currently at 89 percent — a 17 percent increase since January, according to Rouhanifard. The superintendent has stated the district should be working toward universal Pre-K enrollment.”

The Wall St. Journal reviews Cami Anderson’s superintendency in the context of its role in the Newark mayoral race and community division over her strategies to improve  student outcomes.

Also, the Journal looks at President Obama’s Race to the Top prospects: "as the program's four-year grant period nears an end for most of the winners, some of those new policies are running into opposition, and it is unclear whether the changes will boost student achievement in the long term."

NJ Spotlight analyzes Cami Anderson’s bonus payments.

Asbury Park Press: “A day after a state monitor started his review of the [Lakewood Public Schools'] finances, the township Board of Education pushed back a public hearing on its proposed $150 million budget nearly a week.”  Here's my coverage this week on Lakewood.

Yet another state task force on special education; see NJ Spotlight for coverage, including the list of members.

How are those April school board member/budget elections going? The Record reports that in Ramsey “this year's voter turnout appears to be the lowest in the four years since local school boards were given the option to switch to November elections. The total number of ballots cast in 2011 was 1,971; in 2012, 1,674 ballots were cast; and in 2013, 1,510 ballots were cast. It costs the district about $25,000 to run the April election, which would be eliminated if it switched to a November election, as the county absorbs that cost."

New Jersey School Boards Association has a new model social media policy.

Jonathan Chait asks, “what’s the story behind that New York Times ‘insanely hostile’ story on charter schools?” (Here’s the NYT story.)

From Chalkbeat: “Nearly 50,000 city students were turned away from charter schools this year, a very slight dip from last year’s total, according to new enrollment estimates from the New York City Charter School Center. According to the Center, 70,700 prospective students applied for 21,000 seats filled this month in lotteries—a ratio of 3.36 applicants per seat.”