Sunday Leftovers

Education Commissioner Chris Cerf was approved by the NJ Senate Judiciary Committee only 18 months after he started the job. Star-Ledger and NJ Spotlight.

Newark Teachers Union is challenging Superintendent Cami Anderson’s plan to let principals choose their teaching staff. NTU President Joe Del Grosso tells the Star-Ledger that the union is filing a PERC violation to force Newark Public Schools to retain LIFO: “Teachers with the most years of experience must be offered jobs in their area of certification,” said Newark Teachers Union President Joseph Del Grosso. “This is not negotiable.”

NJEA, Educational Law Center in Newark, the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the NAACP, and the Latino Institute, reports NJ Spotlight, have joined together to protest the approval of two “hybrid” or blended charter schools, which combine old-fashioned brick-and-mortar schooling with online options. Both schools will be in Newark, and one would be run by K12, a for-profit charter operator. NJ School Boards Association is watching and waiting for now.

The NJ DOE released its “Performance Framework” for charter schools, a new accountability instrument.

Englewood Public Schools, reports The Record, was going to outsource 100 secretaries and teaching assistants to save money but a late-night bargaining session may have saved those jobs.

In today’s New York Times’ Sunday Review section, Professor Andrew Hacker asks, “Is Algebra Necessary?”:

There are many defenses of algebra and the virtue of learning it. Most of them sound reasonable on first hearing; many of them I once accepted. But the more I examine them, the clearer it seems that they are largely or wholly wrong — unsupported by research or evidence, or based on wishful logic. (I’m not talking about quantitative skills, critical for informed citizenship and personal finance, but a very different ballgame.)

This debate matters. Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent. In the interest of maintaining rigor, we’re actually depleting our pool of brainpower. I say this as a writer and social scientist whose work relies heavily on the use of numbers. My aim is not to spare students from a difficult subject, but to call attention to the real problems we are causing by misdirecting precious resources.

Greg Forster (subbing for Jay Greene) gets provocative about double standards for special ed and vouchers in D.C.: “In today’s Examiner, AEI’s Michael McShane (an official JPGB super best friend) wants to know why none of the people fighting to kill the DC voucher program seem to have any objections to DC’s high rate of outplacement for special education students. Could it be because there are a lot more rich white special ed parents? McShane is here to chew gum and kick the cans of edu-hypocrites, and he’s all out of gum.”

What do you think?

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