Sunday Leftovers

Another great Stephanie Simon piece at Politico on the Common Core backlash, specifically the Obama Administration's "decision to pour money into developing new exams years before most teachers began introducing the academic standards into their classrooms. [Critics from within the Administration] say it made the Common Core feel scary and punitive rather than an exciting new way to challenge students to achieve." Also see this Washington Times piece that notes, "from school board races to Senate primaries, the education reform package known as Common Core is proving uncommonly divisive this campaign season, popping up as an issue in primary elections all over the country." And here's a related article in the New York Times.

In case you missed it, here's my Newsworks piece on Gov. Christie's jam over the Senate bill to delay PARCC implementation.

More locally, The Record reports on the implementation of both the Common Core State Standards and preparation for PARCC tests in Passaic Valley.

From the Star Ledger Editorial Board: "For all Cami Andersonā€™s political problems, the state was right to renew her contract as superintendent of Newark schools. Letting her go now would be massively disruptive to children starting the next school year."

In other Newark musings, Tom Moran worries about fledging Mayor Ras Baraka's ability to manage Newark's profound problems, particularly uncontrolled crime and a $90 million deficit. Moran also considers Baraka's admiration of convicted criminal Sharpe James and a somewhat murky history: "Baraka has had two jobs for years, both on the public dime, and both classified as full time. As principal of Central High School and city councilman, he earned a combined $210,000 a year, along with a car and free gas. When the city furloughed its workforce, the council exempted itself and stayed on full salary, which happens to be the highest in the state."

The Star-Ledger: "KIPP Schools, a network of charter schools that educates 50,000 students in 20 states ā€” including 2,200 students in Newark ā€” was awarded the 2014 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools on Tuesday at the National Charter School Conference in Las Vegas."

NJ Spotlight analyzes the State Legislature's abject failure to reform N.J.'s outdated charter school laws. Also, Gov. Christie vetoed an additional $3 million in charter school aid proposed by Democratic legislators to ameliorate inequities.

Celebrate!: "On Tuesday, the first day of the new fiscal year, the West Amwell, Stockton and Lambertville elementary school districts and South Hunterdon High School district will dissolve in order to give birth to the South Hunterdon Regional School District." (Star Ledger)