Not So Fast with the “We” Word, Trenton Superintendent McDowell. You’re Leaving Out the Parents.

“We in Trenton are adamantly opposed to charter school expansion,” Trenton Superintendent Dr. Fred McDowell said Wednesday at a community meeting on the subject. “We are united in that statement.” Um, no, Dr. McDowell. I don’t know whom you are referring to when you say “We in Trenton” but it’s definitely not the Trenton parents I spoke to at last weekend’s NJ Parent Summit, where 250 parents, mostly single moms of color, mostly from Abbott …

Update on Firings at the NJ Department of Education: Staffers Respond

There’s been much interest in my post ten days ago about the firing of 40 staff members from the state Department of Education. Since the post went up I’ve received numerous emails from staff members, some who were fired and some still there. All  requested anonymity. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been told. In a sign of the personal and/or political nature of the firings, several days later the DOE put up postings to …

Cheers All Around for New Jersey’s State Board of Education!

Today the New Jersey Board of Education took a courageous step towards maintaining high-quality schools for students and families. Instead of rubber-stamping Commissioner Repollet (and NJEA’s) recommendations for watering down standards (ex.: a student would be deemed eligible for a high school diploma by scoring a 440 on the math SAT section, which the College Board considers in the 25th percentile of a nationally representative sample), the Board decided to not take action today. Members …

Here’s Some News You Missed: 40 Staff Members Fired from NJ Department of Education

News of major changes in New Jersey’s public education system typically blare on major (and minor) news sites. So here’s a scoop that I’d rather not have:  on July 20th, eleven days ago, approximately 40 people were unceremoniously fired from their posts at the Department of Education.  I spoke to one of them, a mid-level manager at the Office of Comprehensive Support, a division of the DOE that serves our lowest-performing districts and provides, according …

Yes, Governor, Your Obsession with PARCC is Wasteful and Misguided.

“It isn’t today,” he said in an appearance at the Golden Nugget casino. “I still don’t like it. And I’m not gonna wake up someday and become a fan of PARCC. I’m not anti-assessment. … But I’m no fan of PARCC.” That’s Gov. Murphy commenting on yesterday’s news that New Jersey is shortening federally-required annual assessments aligned with state standards and eliminating four of the six assessments required for high school graduation. This, according to …

Correcting The Record on “Murphy Promise Tracker”: The Education Edition

This past weekend The Record published its latest edition of its“Murphy Promise Tracker,” which aims to hold Gov. Murphy “accountable” to “statements made during the campaign or posted on its website.” One problem: The Record is grading on a curve. In fact, every single promise made by Murphy receives a declaration of either “promise kept” or “promise launched.” And that’s simply not true.  Let’s preface this by acknowledging that Gov. Murphy has had a rough …

NJ Teacher on Janus: NJEA Spent Our Money On a Candidate That Doesn’t Represent Our Values and Ran Out Health Benefits Into The Ground.

Cody D. Miller is a member of the New Jersey Education Association, the largest Teachers union in New Jersey.  He also serves on the City Council in Monroe Township. This post was originally published at nj.com. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Mark Janus, a child support specialist in Illinois who felt that his free speech rights were violated by mandatory dues payments to his local union. Since the Court’s ruling, teachers unions across …

Janus Is In. What Does The SCOTUS Ruling Mean For NJEA?

The Supreme Court issued its 5-4 ruling this morning in Janus v. the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority, “states and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from non-consenting employees. The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them.” Further, “[w]e conclude …

Camden Families Beg To Differ With NJEA and Education Law Center: Pass That Bill!

Alert! Alert! A new bill in the New Jersey Legislature intends to infest Camden’s traditional school system with a malignancy disguised as a minor legislative tweak. This new bill, an adjustment to the 2012 Urban Hope Act, threatens to decimate the district by siphoning resources from real public schools in order to dramatically expand the reach of fake public schools, also known as “renaissance” schools, which are run by craven privatizers. In addition, the bill …

Murphy Issues Statement Re: Post-Janus Union Protection Bill

Yesterday I wrote about New Jersey Education Association’s proactive legislative victory before the Supreme Court rules on Janus v. AFSCME, when the Justices will decide whether public employees have the right to not pay annual dues. Senate Bill 2137 protects N.J. unions’ bottom line by severely limiting member opportunities for withdrawal. In other Statehouse activity, and in defiance of New Jersey School Boards Association’s concerns, the Legislature also passed Assembly Bill 3686 (the same as Senate …