Dear New Jersey Teachers: You’re Getting a Raw Deal From NJEA and NEA.

Mike Lilley of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey has a new report out, “New Jersey Teachers’ Dues: Why Are They the Highest in the Nation and What Are They Paying For?” Here, he analyzes NJ teachers’ “raw deal”: Doing the math, NJ Education Association (NJEA), the state union, keeps a higher percentage of teacher dues than any other state teacher union in the nation, depriving local branches — “those with the most direct connection …

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: …

“Dear Mark”: A Veteran Teacher Gives Himself Ten Pieces of Advice As Another School Year Begins.

This is a guest post by Mark Joseph, a sixth-grade math teacher at KIPP Rise Academy in Newark, where he has taught for ten years. For Mark’s other posts, see here, here, and here. Dear Mark, You called out sick today (Thursday, September 6, 2007). Only your third day of school — ever! — and you lied about having a family emergency in Rhode Island. I know, you’re scared; not of the kids but of the …

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. What Does New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet Think of Teachers?

A week ago our Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet testified before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. I wrote about this last week, noting that in response to a question from Senator Declan J. O’Scanlon, Repollet conceded that he did indeed institute a “64 Floor” at Asbury Park High School when he was superintendent there. The “64 Floor,” which I heard about from multiple current and former staff members, ensures that no student can fail …

A Peek Into NJEA’s Finances: Teachers and School Staff May Not Like What They See.

I often insist on the distinction between those who work with children —  teachers, instructional aides, nurses, Child Study Team members, et. al.  — and  New Jersey Education Association staff members who lobby in Trenton.   In this era of Janus when public sector workers can choose to not join unions (a right excessively circumscribed in NJ), it’s worthwhile to check out the finances of those Trenton lobbyists. Information is power when teachers have a choice, right?  Anyone …

In Newark, Every Teacher Is Sacred

Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate. Does anyone else  remember that ditty “Every Sperm is Sacred” from the Monty Python movie called “The Meaning of Life”? When I’m feeling most foul about teacher tenure laws, this song becomes my earworm. And Monday was one of those days because I read Leslie Brody’s coverage in the Wall Street Journal about chronic teacher absenteeism in Newark. …