This morning’s New York Times features a long article on the deleterious impact of higher academic standards on a captivating nine-year-old boy. Unfortunately, the article conflates the Common Core State Standards and the new assessments – a common error, but one that you’d think the Grey Lady’s editors would catch – and, perhaps unintentionally, validates the Vergara decision by describing the boy’s fabulous teacher, who indefatigably works with each student to ensure that they remain engaged in more challenging work. (The boy's mother is a hero too.) Judging from the pictures, this teacher is young. She’d be on the short list for lay-offs under “last in, first out,” or seniority-based lay-offs.
Speaking of the Vergara decision, specifically Jersey implications, see John Mooney at NJ Spotlight. If you’re just tuning in, go to RealClearEducation's daily reading list, which includes the best commentary.
Sen. Joe Kyrillos introduced a proposal that would end seniority-based lay-offs, a reaction to the Vergara decision. He said he’d invite Students Matter, the group that pressed the California suit, to hightail it to New Jersey.
The Star Ledger has a careful review of problems with the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program:
But as it enters its fifth year, critics say the state-financed program is falling short of its goals to diversify schools and provide low-income families with options that come at no cost to them.
Washington Township Board of Education signed a resolution supporting A3802, the Mila Jasey bill that would delay implementation of the PARCC tests. (Star Ledger)
For one thing, the program has not enjoyed the same success throughout the state.
This year, 14 of the 105 school districts approved by state officials enrolled almost half of the program’s students and accepted $26 million, or 53 percent, of the $49 million in state funds.
The remaining schools are situated mostly in suburban and rural areas, which means many low-income urban families are not participating.
The Press of Atlantic City reviews Commissioner David Hespe’s decision to let Longport end its sending relationship with Atlantic City High School and instead send its high schoolers to Ocean City. Longport has a grand total of 24 high school students.
The Feds like how NJ is handling its Race to the Top grant.
Lots of coverage this week on the superintendent salary caps. See NJ Spotlight, the Star Ledger, and The Record.
Stephanie Simon at Politico reflects on some implications of the Vegara decision:
Yet the share of Americans who see teachers unions as a negative influence on public schools shot up to 43 percent last year, up from 31 percent in 2009, according to national polling conducted by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and the journal Education Next. By contrast, 32 percent see unions as a positive force, up from 28 percent in 2009, the poll found.
The head of the National Education Association says the problem isn't bad teachers but bad principals:
“We have to stop wasting time on these issues that don’t help teachers do their job of educating students,” said Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the country. “It doesn’t change the fundamental problem, which is who in the world is hiring these people who are not qualified? You have to change the system that allows them there in the first place. If you don’t, then the elimination of those laws won’t make sense.”