PARCC delay update: The Record reports that Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who sponsored a bill proposing a two-year delay in tying teacher evaluations to PARCC scores (see my coverage here), said that the Senate is postponing the vote again. Christie would veto the bill anyway and a better solution would be an executive order: "Christie is contemplating instead taking executive action that would phase in consequences of the tests — perhaps reducing what percentage of a teacher's evaluation the results could comprise initiall ." Senator Van Drew told the Philadelphia Inquirer that "[t]here seems to be some positive, productive discussions between the governor's staff, Senate staff, and the NJEA," he said, referring to the New Jersey Education Association. "That's why we're holding off." NJ Spotlight has an analysis of Christie's limited options.
The Christie Administration has backed off on some of the most unsettling parts of its revisions to special education regulations. (NJ Spotlight)
The Legislature held a hearing on N.J.'s unpopular superintendent salary caps. The Star Ledger quotes Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan: ""It’s rare to have all of the education advocates on the same page, but everyone I respect says the same thing. It’s not hypothetical. It’s leading to a drain,"
Two Newark charter schools – Marion P. Thomas Charter School and Visions Academy Charter High School – merged this week after parents at Marion Thomas demanded a high school. (Star Ledger)
Great profile at the Philadelphia Inquirer of Lorenz Bethea, a brave, determined student who just graduated from Camden's Woodrow Wilson High School. "Lorenz is valedictorian of her class. She averaged a 3.8 GPA her senior year. But she scored a 910 on the combined reading and math portions of the SAT and she failed the math section of the state High School Statewide Assessments exam, required for graduation, the first time she took it her junior year. Of her Wilson peers, only 14 percent of first-time HSPA test takers in 2012-13 passed the math test and 36 percent passed in language arts."
From the Wall Street Journal, coverage of some of the 110 business items on the agenda at the NEA Convention last week in Colorado.
Not to be undone, "The American Federation of Teachers will open its annual convention Friday morning with a startling announcement: After years of strongly backing the Common Core, the union now plans to give its members grants to critique the academic standards — or to write replacement standards from scratch." (Stephanie Simon at Politico)
ICYMI: On Friday I responded in Education Week to an error-ridden editorial by Save Our Schools' Julia Sass Rubin. Julia and I are having a little tete a tete in the comments section. Also, here's my piece on new directions for NJEA and the NEA, particularly regarding teacher evaluations.