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Join the Union

AFTNJ’s objective is to promote state wide organization and unionization of public and private school teachers, paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; other workers organized in conformity with More »

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Prekindergarten – 12

From the state’s largest school district to small privates, AFTNJ stands up for New Jersey’s students. Our members teach early childhood education to prepare kids for school, special education and every topic More »

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Higher Education

The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey is the largest higher education union in the state, representing full and part-time faculty, all levels of administrative, professional and supervisory staff, graduate workers, and More »

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AFTNJ Activism

AFTNJ members advocate for education and stand up for social justice. More »

Video: Teachers are Not Bad Apples @nbft1060 @mstroi


Laurie Troiano talked about the hard work she and her colleagues do. She and teachers from the North Bergen Federation of Teachers joined AFT President Randi Weingarten and UFT President Michael Mulgrew to deliver more than 100,000 petitions demanding an apology from Time Mag for negatively characterizing teachers. #TimeFail

Video: Teachers Protest Derogatory TIME Magazine Cover #TimeFail @AFTUnion

Newark Teachers Union Takes Its Grievances To State Assembly Committee

By John Mooney

Representative tells education panel that Superintendent Cami Anderson has not followed state rules for teacher evaluations

John Abeigon

John Abeigon at Assembly Education Committee

With the landmark teachers contract in Newark in its third and final year, prospects are not promising for such amicable agreement on the next contract.

The Newark Teachers Union has stepped up its complaints about how state-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson has implemented the existing contract, taking its case to the Legislature this week and contending that she has failed to comply with state law pertaining to teacher evaluations.

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N. J. charter schools see smaller percentages of poor and special needs students than districts, study says

TRENTON — Charter schools in many of the state’s most disadvantaged districts do not look much like the communities they serve, according to a study to be released today by public school advocates.

According to the report, the schools—concentrated in Camden, Hoboken, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton—educate significantly smaller percentages of poor students, those from non-English speaking families, and special education students, than do the public school districts they serve.

“It’s problematic,” said Julia Sass Rubin, an associate professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and one of the authors of the study, which was conducted in conjunction with Save Our Schools NJ, a pro-public school group which she helped found.

Rubin said even charter schools outside the seven urban areas also served significantly smaller percentages of economically disadvantaged students.

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Tell Time: #TIMEtoApologize

Are one of more than 90,000 people who have signed our petition demanding that Time magazine apologize for calling teachers the “rotten apples” in our schools?

Teachers are not rotten apples

Teachers are not rotten apples

At 3 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Oct. 30, AFTNJ will be joining AFT President Randi Weingarten, UFT President Michael Mulgrew along with educators, parents and allies to deliver the petitions to Time magazine’s headquarters in Manhattan.

We’re organizing a virtual rally so that supporters across the country can join the delivery. SIGN UP TO JOIN THE VIRTUAL DELIVERY NOW!

We’re using a platform called Thunderclap to simultaneously post across social media. When you join, you can choose to post to Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. Whichever you choose, Thunderclap will automatically post for you at 3 p.m.–just as the petitions are being delivered.

We’re hoping to reach 100,000 petition signers. Once you’ve signed up for the Thunderclap, will you share the petition one more time with your friends and family via social media?

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Educators perform one of the hardest jobs in America and deserve to be treated with respect. Instead, Time magazine calls them “rotten apples.” Let’s make sure Time’s editors hear us loud and clear.

Assembly Committee Hears Recommendations on Building Better Teachers

But committee chairman thinks changes more likely to come in administrative code rather than through the law

By John Mooney

The Legislature yesterday held a two-hour hearing on a package of recommendations for improving teacher preparation and induction, but it looks like the next steps will likely come more through administrative regulations than any new laws.

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NJIT formally questions Kean University’s plan for architecture program

By PATRICIA ALEX, Staff Writer, The Record

New Jersey Institute of Technology issued a formal statement on Monday questioning Kean University’s intentions to open another public architecture program in the state, saying the initiative was duplicative and costly.

The salvo came following an event at Kean’s Union campus on Saturday, where the university announced that it was launching the Michael Graves School of Architecture, pairing up with the famous designer to start a school that will grow to 500 students evenly divided between the stateside campus and one in Wenzhou, China.

An article in The Record on Sunday detailed how Kean has yet to get the necessary state approvals for the plan but has forged ahead: paying Graves’ Princeton firm $75,000 to design the building in China, developing curriculum and hiring Acting Dean David Mohney to head the school.

Kean insists its moves have come with the proviso that they are pending approval from the New Jersey Presidents Council, which reviews new programs. Some critics, including state Senator Joe Cryan, D-Union, who represents the district in which Kean is located, said the dueling programs point to weak oversight from Trenton, where higher education was essentially deregulated two decades ago to allow for broad autonomy for the schools.

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Reclaiming Our Profession: A Professional Continuum to Support Effective Teaching in NJ

Donna M. Chiera testified at the Assembly Education Committee

Donna M. Chiera testified at the Assembly Education Committee

There is not a profession in this modern era that is legislated, regulated and mandated as closely as that of the public school educator. While there are laws governing other professions, those laws are developed and implemented with the voices of those in the profession front and center. That cannot be said of the laws and regulations governing today’s educational system. In more than 30 years teaching in Perth Amboy I found that despite the fact that I was the person who knew my students best, I had very little, and at times no, say in how my students were taught. Giving educators a voice in their profession is why AFT New Jersey supports the road map to effective teaching proposed by the Garden State Alliance for Strengthening Education.

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Why Public Education Needs Teachers Unions

Excluding teachers from policy-making is not only stupid, it’s dangerous.

By Gary Ravani

I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field.” – Charter member of AFT Local 552 (c. 1938)

There have been many assertions made over time about the negative effects of teachers unions on student performance. A number of states have moved legislatively to curtail the collective bargaining rights of teachers and, indeed, some states have never allowed teachers’ collective bargaining.

Conservative critics of teachers unions – the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, for example – claim there is no relationship between high levels of union membership and high levels of student achievement. There are 10 states where there is little or no collective bargaining by teachers. If Fordham and other teachers union critics are right, these states should demonstrate student achievement that ranks very high, or at least above the national average, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to commentary in the Washington Post by Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the Albert Shanker Institute, “out of the ten [non-union] states only one (Virginia) has an average rank above the median, while four are in the bottom ten and seven are in the bottom fifteen.” The article concludes that states “without binding teacher contracts are not doing better, and the majority are actually among the lowest performers in the nation.”

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Kean University, NJIT feud over similar curriculums

By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer, The Record.

Kean University is launching an architecture school bearing the imprint of design guru Michael Graves, but the dean of the state’s premier public architecture program six miles away says the initiative is a waste of public money.

“The idea of having yet another program motivated by prestige or other considerations … it doesn’t make any sense,” said Urs P. Gauchat, dean of the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design. “We have invested millions in keeping up with technology. … It behooves us not to duplicate.”

Making matters worse, he said, NJIT’s architecture program in Newark has space for 200 to 250 more students than the 500 that are enrolled.

[...]

“If we had the Department of Higher Education there is no way it would approve a program that is less than 10 miles away,” said James Castiglione, a physics professor who heads the Kean faculty union. “It’s redundant and costly.”

Graves has already made architectural drawings for a new building to house the program in China. The stateside program will operate out of Kean’s new building on Green Lane.

Farahi

CARMINE GALASSO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER. Kean University President Dawood Farahi announcing Saturday the newly formed Michael Graves School of Architecture at the school’s Union campus. Some have criticized the program, citing a need for greater state control over higher education.

Castiglione said much of the push for the architecture program has come from demand for it in China. The campus, funded by the Chinese, now has more than 400 students and is projected to grow to 5,000 by 2016.

In a closed-door meeting in 2013, Farahi, the college president, told the members of Kean’s governing board that the Chinese government was interested in master teacher and architecture programs at the campus in Wenzhou, according to minutes from the executive session obtained by the faculty union.

“The citizens of New Jersey ought to be deeply troubled knowing that the communist Chinese government is determining what academic programs New Jersey taxpayers are being forced to support and what programs we will be offering to our students here in New Jersey,” Castiglone said.

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