Breaking News: NJEA Lawyers Demand Lakewood Schools Stop Violating State Social Distancing Orders

Last week the law firm Selikoff & Cohen sent a seven-page letter on behalf of NJEA and the union’s local Lakewood arm to Superintendent Laura Winters demanding that the district “cease and desist its blatant violation of  violation of Executive Orders 104 and 107 and the guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Education on school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter is cc’d to the president of the local union, the president …

Okay, Boomer: Why Mark Weber’s Argument Won’t Convince Millennials and Gen Z’ers To Become Teachers.

Mark Weber, aka Jersey Jazzman, just published a paper at New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a sequel to a paper he published in September. The theme of both is that New Jersey is in grave danger of not having enough high-quality teachers to fill classrooms. Why? Prospective employees are shunning careers as educators because salaries are too low, our pension system is shaky, and teachers don’t get enough respect.  I agree with all of that: …

NJEA Lobbyists Want New Jersey’s Next Governor To Be NJEA VP (and Aspiring Montclair Mayor) Sean Spiller. One Little Problem…

This is a guest post by Mike Lilley, founder and president of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on showcasing greater transparency and sound policy solutions throughout the state. It first appeared in Advance Media. New Jersey Education Association Vice President Sean Spiller is running for mayor of Montclair. Spiller’s leadership position with the NJEA, the most powerful special interest in the state, which is purposefully training and running members like …

How the New Jersey Department of Education Went From Technology Leader to Technology Laggard

On Monday I wrote about Paterson Public Schools’ poor implementation of home instruction during this pandemic, hindered largely by the lack of one-on-one devices for students as well as teachers’ unfamiliarity with technology. This scenario isn’t limited to Paterson: Here’s Trenton’s form of remote learning, which is less a strategy than an abdication of responsibility. The consequences for students in these districts, already high-risk, will be enormous. Chris Minnich, head of NWEA, predicts that “students …

The NJEA and Its Allies Are the Main Funders of Sean Spiller’s Mayoral Campaign

This is a guest post by Michael Lilley, Founder and President of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, which seeks to educate residents on the way NJEA “uses their tax dollars against their own interests, secures benefits for the few over the many, and blocks needed reforms.” This was originally published on SPCNJ’s website. As detailed in SPCNJ’s previous report, New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Vice President Sean Spiller is the most famous graduate of …

NJEA’S Palace Intrigue: A New Report Shines Light on The Mayoral Candidacy of Sean Spiller.

Three weeks ago a reader asked me an intriguing question: Is Sean Spiller, candidate for Mayor of Montclair and NJEA Vice President, actually running for the “Montclair Ideal” (as his campaign literature claims) or for the “NJEA ideal”? If Spiller wins the mayoral election, he would not only be Chair of the Montclair Board of School Estimates (which approves the district’s budget) but he would also appoint the members of the Montclair Board of Education. …

During Covid-19, Are Charter Schools Leading the Way?

On Monday I looked at the stark disparities in the quality of online instruction offered to children during the COVID-19 school closures, comparing Princeton Regional Public Schools with Trenton City Public Schools. This is one data point, although representative of New Jersey’s two separate and unequal school systems, an exemplary one for the wealthy (disproportionately white and Asian) students and an inferior one for the poor (disproportionately black and brown) students. These inequities are exacerbated …

With Murphy In Recovery, NJEA and Sweeney Find Common Ground, Even If We’re Still Stuck With $700 Acupuncture Sessions.

“Sen. Sweeney decides what legislation can be moved,” [NJEA President Marie Blistan] said. “As you can see right now, we are standing side by side, and we are smiling.” Hard to believe, this new-found camaraderie born after NJEA leaders spent $5 million of teachers’ dues to utterly fail at ousting Senate President Steve Sweeney. Yet here they stand, arm in arm, jointly announcing a deal that, if it works as promised, will save school districts …

Irony Alert: A New “Statewide Effort” Against Corruption Is, Well, Corrupt.

Oh, this is rich. WNYC reports today on a meeting Saturday of “New Jersey activists” called “Take Back NJ” who want the Legislature to pass “an ethics package…that takes aim at what they call ‘soft corruption’ –the ways the activists say money, patronage and the layout of the ballot undermines democracy.” Who are the leaders of this “statewide effort” referred to in the article? None other than New Jersey Working Families and people like Rutgers Professor …