Saturday, October 19, 2013

10-19-13 Jersey Jazzman

Jersey Jazzman:

The Reformy Campaign Finance Machine Goes To Georgia
Last spring, I happened - by sheer luck - to come across an unannounced, coordinated campaign finance machine, put together to support reformy candidates in school board and state-level races across the country. This machine distributed more than one-quarter million dollars to small, obscure races that had never seen this level of campaign finance before: Jusidiction Candidate Greg Penner L

OCT 16

Another Broad Super Is Failing in Montclair, NJ
This is a really remarkable story, but it requires a bit of set up: Eli Broad, one of the richest men in America, runs a private, unaccredited "academy" to train budding school leaders in corporate education reform. I put "academy" in quotes because the thing is really a book club: six weekends over ten months, which I consider an insult to the many dedicated professionals I k
Syracuse: The Failure Of Test-Based Teacher Evaluation
No wonder NY Education Commissioner John King is hiding in an undisclosed location:   Syracuse -- Virtually all the teachers at Henninger High School received fewer points than they should have on performance evaluations handed out Friday, several teachers told The Post-Standard. The issue drove some teachers from an "effective" rating to "developing," and others from "d

OCT 13

One More Time: Why Isn't Diane Ravitch On My TV?
Pick up the dead tree version of the NY Times today, and you'll see that Diane Ravitch's new book, Reign of Error, has been on the bestseller list for two weeks. And it will be there next week as well. Michelle Rhee's Radical never made the NY Times bestseller list - a feat Ravitch has now accomplished three times. And yet Michelle Rhee appeared on these prominent media outlets: The Daily Show

OCT 12

Stupid SGO Tricks
I notice that the NJDOE has slapped up a "Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions" about Student Growth Objectives on their teacher evaluation website. SGOs are a mandatory part of AchieveNJ -- known around here as Operation Hindenburg -- that will count for 15% of a teacher's evaluation rating. As I mentioned before: there is no research base to back up the use of SGOs in evaluating teacher

OCT 10

Tales of Inequity in Chris Christie's New Jersey, Part I
All high schools are equal in Chris Christie's New Jersey - but, as David Sciarra explains in this great piece, some are more equal than others (all emphases mine): The buildings of Phillipsburg High School and Trenton Central High School are remarkably similar. Phillipsburg was built in 1928, Trenton in 1932, in classical style. Both are iconic, graduating outstanding young men and women over th

OCT 09

Why Should NJ Teachers Unions Play Along?
Chris Christie has spent the last four years blaming the teachers unions for everything from state budget woes to the "opportunity gap" to halitosis. Why, then, would anyone be surprised when these same unions finally decide they've had enough? The Newark Teachers Union on Thursday declined to sign off on a $30 million federal grant application, an indication of how fractured labor rela